Beijing: Bird's Nest still empty

source: NPR.org

Beijing: Bird's Nest still empty Numbers are falling dramatically as Chinese tourists aren't that interested any more. Some even cannot afford it. While plans for large events are few and far between, NPR.org reports.

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Annual maintenance cost stands at $11m. Despite several attempts no viable business model for the iconic Beijing National Stadium has been found with total price tag growing from the initial $400m every year.

Last major event was an equestrian tournament in May. Another one – end of July, when Arsenal and Manchester city come to visit Beijing. Sadly, it's only the big names from Europe that can draw crowds, local side Guoan would possibly fill 10% of the 80,000 capacity, if that.

That's why attempts are made to create more international game opportunities. Spanish Super Cup is to be played here annually starting 2013. But that's still not enough. There are a few such games that may be brought here, while the stadium needs over a dozen.

Especially that Chinese people are less and less interested in it. Located far from Beijing's centre it's not as much of a magnet as it used to be with numbers of tourists falling dramatically – in June 2012 there were 50% less than a year before.

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