Chinese stadiums deserve far more attention than we offered them, even if their football will take long time grow into these stadiums. Here’s a truly impressive example.
When selecting 15 special stadia for our 15th anniversary, we could not miss China. The country’s sports complexes are becoming more and more advanced, as this case from eastern Shaoxing proves. Ever since it opened in 2014, this stadium offers China’s largest retractable roof. With an opening area of 12,350 m2 it surpasses even many larger stadia around the world, including the likes of giant AT&T Stadium in Texas!
For three years leading architects, contractors and suppliers participated in the creation of a truly impressive sports complex, spreading across 24 hectares in the western district of Keqiao. The football/athletics stadium is of course its largest element, offering space for 40,000 spectators and a floor space of 77,500 m2.
The whole building, which is its defining feature, is covered with PTFE panels. Formed in a scales-like pattern, there are 428 single sheets of membrane. And while they seem similar in size and shape, they’re in fact differing between one-another, making the building more challenging.
By day these create a seemingly light and sleek building and by night each panel can shine with a different colour thanks to LED lighting. This allows the creation of immense colour patterns spanning across nearly 50,000 m2. And, which is rare itself, the illumination also allows to light up the interior.
Along with an indoor arena, Olympic natatorium and a training stadium the complex consumed ($820 million upon opening). All venues were first used during the 2014 Zhejiang Provincial Games and a year later for inter-city games.
And while such tournaments are common in China, this stadium (unlike many that entirely deserve to be called white elephants) also has a football host. Currently in the 2nd league, Zhejiang Yiteng FC have one of China’s most impressive stadia for their use, though it should be mentioned that filling the stands is far beyond their current reach.
Meet all 15 special stadiums added for our 15th anniversary!