China: New stadium impresses with design and universality

source:; author: Kuba Kowalski

China: New stadium impresses with design and universality In early 2019, Xiamen authorities included the construction of a new stadium in the city's expansion plans. The idea has been brought to fruition, and the surroundings of the multi-million city have also been adjusted to the new arena.


A stadium full of symbols

Xiamen's new stadium was built in the mainland's eastern Xiang'an district. The facility stood on the shore of the bay, where Xiamen Island, the center of the city, is located on the opposite side. At the same time as the new sports complex, the Xiamen International Expo Center and a new bridge connecting Xiang'an district to Xiamen Island were also being built right next door. To make room for the development, 549 houses were demolished.

Due to the rather ambitious custom design and complex technical solutions, the construction of the stadium was a challenge. All the main sports facilities of the complex are covered by a white canopy and facade. Motifs characteristic of local culture and conditions were woven into the architecture of the buildings.

The halls and pool, lined up in a row, are meant to resemble the petals of bougainvillea flowers, and the stadium itself is, on a symbolic level, a heron taking flight. The facilities also incorporate features of traditional construction from the southern Fujian area. Crucial to achieving the desired unique shape of the stadium's roof are the two giant steel arches running above it.

Xiamen Egret Stadium©

The Diamond League has arrived at the new stadium

On August 2 this year, it was officially announced that the new stadium in Xiamen will host the annual one-day athletics meeting, included in the prestigious Diamond League series, for the next 10 editions. Xiamen has replaced Shanghai, where the Diamond League's only Diamond League myths were held in East Asia from 2010-2019.

Since Xiamen's first Diamond League meeting was scheduled for September 2, the necessary preparations were made in August, as well as a test competition without public participation. The meeting, which took place as planned on September 2, was also the opening of the new stadium.

Xiamen Egret Stadium©

Ambitious solutions

The stadium's stands are divided into three floors, with the second and third floors being permanent, while the lowest part is made up of mobile modules, allowing the configuration to be changed from football to athletics and vice versa. It is the third stadium in the world to allow the relatively free change of stand layout from football to athletics, after Stade de France and Singapore's National Stadium.

In athletics mode, the movable stands are moved backward, freeing up space for the running track. In the football mode, the structures are brought closer to the field, and a platform is created behind them where additional rows of spectators are set up, increasing seating capacity by more than 7,000 spectators. In the athletics layout, the capacity of the arena is 53,443 spectators, while in the football formula, 60,592 people can enter the stadium. It takes a week to change the configuration of the stands.