Asian Youth Games Stadium

Capacity22 000
Country People's Republic of China
Inauguration 12/08/2023
Construction 2019–2021
Cost CNY 1.746 B ($242.3 M) – entire complex
Design GuangDong Architectural Design & Research Institute
Contractor China Construction Eighth Engineering Division Corp.


Asian Youth Games Stadium – stadium description

How was the new stadium in Shantou built?

On March 3, 2019, Shantou was announced as the host of the 3rd Asian Youth Games, which were to be held in November 2021. Already on July 30, 2019, construction of the main sports complex for the games began. The complex was to be built on an area reclaimed from the sea – an artificial polder created a few years earlier off the city's east coast.

The complex was to consist of a main stadium for 22,000 spectators, as well as an arena, training hall, conference center or external platform for outdoor events. The facilities were designed by GuangDong Architectural Design & Research Institute and the main contractor for the work was China Construction Eighth Engineering Division Corp. The construction cost was valued at 1.746 billion yuan. The venues were to be ready in 2021.

The sports complex was to become part of the new Shantou University campus (Shantou University East Campus) after the Games. Immediately adjacent to the complex, an Olympic village was planned to serve as a dormitory after the Games, as well as facilities to house educational activities. The entire campus project was expected to cost 4.4 billion yuan.

Construction on a marshy site presented a considerable challenge. The laying of the foundations for the main facilities was preceded by the driving of 2,768 pipe piles. Work was hampered by three typhoons as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. The Asian Youth Games were also postponed due to the pandemic – on September 8, 2021 it was announced that the date of the competition had been changed to December 2022.

Despite the difficulties, work progressed smoothly and the facilities were declared operationally ready at the end of June 2021. Completion acceptance was made on December 31, 2021. Meanwhile, on May 6, 2022, the Asian Youth Games were completely canceled, depriving the new stadium of the main event for which it was being prepared (however, its name still refers to it).

When was Asian Youth Games Stadium opened?

The completed facilities had to wait a long time for their inauguration. In the absence of the Games, it was ultimately not until mid-2023 that the first mass events took place. The arena was the first to be inaugurated: a music concert was held there on June 10. The new stadium was also inaugurated with a concert on August 12, which attracted more than 10,000 spectators.

What are the characteristics of the sports complex around Asian Youth Games Stadium?

The entire sports complex consists of a main stadium with a capacity of 22,000 spectators (the largest stadium in the entire eastern part of Guangdong Province), an arena with a capacity of 8,000 spectators, a training hall, a conference center with a main hall that can accommodate 1,000 people, and an auxiliary stadium with a running track, a small stand and floodlights.

The center occupies a section of an artificially created polder and is located right on the seafront. The grounds of the complex are surrounded on all sides by wide streets that mark the boundaries of the site. A pedestrian bridge has been laid over one of these streets. Inside there are green areas, pedestrian avenues, squares, small architecture, access roads and car parks.

The main buildings of the complex are connected by a shared roof. The arena and stands of the stadium are covered by an irregularly shaped silvery dome, varied with holes. In the south-east corner of the stadium, the roof holds the cauldron that was to be lit during the Games. The roof changes its character over the conference center, on top of which green grass grows and alleys have been laid out.

The theme of the complex for its architects was the concept of 'dancing waves', particularly through the dome of the roof, which refers to the shape of piled-up sea waves. The attention is drawn to the unusual futuristic space arrangements, which at times give the impression of being in a truly abstract environment.

What does Asian Youth Games Stadium look like?

The main stadium has an athletics track, which is surrounded by a ring of stands. Along the straights, the stands have a second tier and are much higher. The main stand, located to the west, has glass-enclosed boxes between the tiers. Two video screens have been placed on the curves. The auditorium is equipped with plastic seats that form a monochromatic mosaic.



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