Shenzhen Sports Center Stadium
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|Category||Design being implemented|
|Cost||CNY 1.297 B ($200 M)|
|Contractor||China Construction Eighth Engineering Bureau|
Shenzhen Sports Center Stadium – design description
What did the old Shenzhen Stadium look like?
The old Shenzhen Stadium was opened in 1993. The stadium had an athletics track, which was surrounded by single-level covered stands with a capacity of 32,500 spectators. The facility was part of the Shenzhen Sports Center, which also included a swimming complex and sports hall. The centre occupies a triangular plot of land near the centre of Shenzhen, and in addition to the main arenas, there are also smaller playing fields and training facilities.
How did the redevelopment of the Shenzhen Sports Center come about?
In January 2018, Shenzhen was awarded the hosting of the WTA Finals, the prestigious women's tennis competition held at the end of each season. Shenzhen was to host the WTA Finals for 10 years (2019–2028). The possibility of hosting the event was the impetus for a comprehensive upgrade of the Shenzhen Sports Center, which had been planned for some time, and which was designated as the venue for the competition.
How is the redevelopment of the Shenzhen Sports Center complex progressing?
You can see coverage of the construction of the new Shenzhen Stadium on a separate subpage
Already in the summer of 2018, the site was fenced off and preparatory work began. As the priority was to host the WTA Finals, the first step was to build a new sports hall to host these competitions.
Initial plans called for the new hall to be open by June 2020, but the investment was significantly delayed. The first WTA Finals tournament in Shenzhen was held at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center complex; the next two editions, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, were moved to Mexico and the United States.
On July 8, 2019, during the demolition of the old hall, an uncontrolled structural collapse occurred, resulting in the deaths of three workers. Demolition continued until late 2019/early 2020, with a groundbreaking ceremony on May 24, 2020 for the next phase of development, which included intensive earthworks.
In July 2021, the construction tender was won by China Construction Eighth Engineering Bureau and the actual construction phase began. The value of the contract was 1.297 billion yuan. The new arena was the first to start construction, and in November 2021 the stadium redevelopment began.
The redevelopment of the complex should be completed at the end of 2023 or early 2024. In 2023, the WTA Finals will return to Shenzhen, but the new arena will not be fully completed at that time and the competition is still to be held at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center complex.
What are the guidelines for the redevelopment of the Shenzhen Sports Center complex?
The redevelopment project for the Shenzhen Sports Center includes several important aspects, first and foremost the construction of a new sports hall, the major redevelopment of the stadium, the creation of an underground car park, and the rearrangement of the entire surroundings.
Only the indoor swimming pool, the youngest of the three main arenas in the complex, which opened in 2002, is to be completely replaced. The old sports hall from 1985 (Shenzhen Gymnasium) is to be demolished and built anew, and the plan is to provide it with a retractable roof.
The new hall with retractable roof will be built in place of the old Shenzhen Gymnasium and will be much larger (15,000 seats compared to 6,000 in the previous hall) and more modern. The impetus for the construction of the arena was the possibility of hosting the WTA Finals tennis tournament, but it will also be able to host other competitions, such as basketball and ice hockey, as well as cultural events.
Major changes will take place in the surroundings of the main arenas of the complex, which will be revitalised, with the upgrading and construction of new pitches and courts. A major problem for the resort has been the lack of sufficient parking spaces, so the construction of an underground car park for 2,000 vehicles is also an important part of the development.
How will Shenzhen Stadium be redeveloped?
However, the largest investment being made as part of the project will be the redevelopment of Shenzhen Stadium. The new venue will be built almost from scratch, retaining only the outer reinforced concrete frame of the former stadium, which will form the distinctive façade of the new arena.
The stadium will be stripped of its athletics track and given a typical football layout. In many ways, the modernisation of Shenzhen Stadium can be likened to the 2020–2022 redevelopment of Workers' Stadium in Beijing.
The new stands will be split into two levels, with the stands behind the goals being slightly higher than those along the pitch. Due to the redevelopment, the capacity of the stadium will increase from 32,500 to 45,000 spectators. The stadium will also receive a new canopy, complete with a glass section, and there will be screens in the corners.
What role will the new Shenzhen Stadium play?
The old Shenzhen Stadium was for years the main stadium in the city, but in recent years several large and modern venues have been built in the booming metropolis with its special economic zone status: Longgang Stadium, Bao'an Stadium and Shenzhen Bay Sports Center.
Unlike those arenas, however, the new Shenzhen Stadium is expected to be a typical football venue, so that, although it will not be the largest, it will regain its status as the most important football stadium in the city. The stadium will be equipped to host world-class sports and cultural events.
The venue is set to once again become the arena for matches of Shenzhen FC, which has played there for most of its history, including in 2004 when it won the national title. The club was promoted back to the Chinese Super League in 2018 after a seven-year break.