By Mark Turner , eChinacities.com

With a rapid developing construction industry and infrastructure, Beijing, as China’s capital, is an international window to the modern face of China. With the blossoming of entertainment and leisure industries as well as increased interest in sporting events, especially in the aftermath of the spectacular and highly successful 2008 Summer Olympic Games, Beijing and its denizens take great pride in the capital’s stadiums. Here is a guide to some of the most innovative and awe inspiring of these arenas, e. and the functions that these fantastic architectural feats currently host.

Beijing National Stadium/ Bird's Nest 国家体育场/鸟巢 View In Map
Bijing National Stadium, otherwise known as the Bird’s Nest, is one of modern China’s most iconic buildings, and along with the new seemingly gravity defying CCTV tower and The Forbidden City, a salient emblem of the country’s capital. Commissioned as the centerpiece of the 2008 Olympic Games, the stadium cost 423 million dollars and holds the mantle of being the world’s largest steel structure. Beijing national stadium has a capacity of 91,00 and is the 5th largest stadium in Asia.

Designed by Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron with the creative direction of renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the criss-cross metal beams are the inspiration for the stadium’s Bird’s Nest nick name however. Thought the influence is less obvious, the architects also borrowed heavily from the aesthetics of traditional Chinese ceramics for their design.

Currently the stadium is still a venue for sporting events; although ticket sales have been reported to have been not as successful as expected, necessitating further uses of the structure to increase revenue. Along with the sporting competitions, the site is now a draw for tourists just wishing to see the iconic structure in the flesh. Recent non-competitive events have included a snow and ice festival that took place in late 2009. For that event a 10m high ski slope was installed in the stadium. Plans to make the stadium into a commercial business centre were revealed in early 2009, although in recent times these arrangements have been lower profile. Nonetheless, the stadium is considered one the architectural wonders of the world and well worth a visit for anyone who finds themselves in Beijing, even if it’s not currently hosting an event.

Add: 18 Beichen Donglu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京朝阳区 北辰东路18号
Getting There: Bus: No. 386, 510, 656, 660, 740,753, 839,944, 983 or Subway Line 8 

Beijing Workers Stadium北京 工人体育场 View In Map
Located in Gongtibeilu, Beijing Worker’s Stadium is a multipurpose venue that hosts athletic and professional sporting events as well musical concerts (including the first performance by Western band in modern China). The stadium was built in 1959 and has undergone various refurbishments since. The most recent, in 2004, saw the installation of energy saving devices in addition to a large revolving screen. The stadium is the place for locals to watch the Beijing Guoan football team; although not as popular with Beijing youth as basketball, the football team has a core following among football fans and regularly attracts a decent turn out.

Not quite as spectacular architecturally as some other arenas, the 66,000 capacity 350,000 square metre stadium, is still a sight to behold. The Workers Stadium is the 17th highest capacity stadium in Asia.

The Workers Stadium is fully functional and regularly in use. In 2009 it hosted the Barclays Asia Cup, in giving football fans the opportunity to see British teams such as Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham in action alongside Beijing Guoan. The site was also host to the 1990 Asian Games and 2008 Summer Olympics football matches.

Add: Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京朝阳区工体北路
Getting There: Bus No. 113, 115, 118, 701, 834; Nearest subway Station: Dongsishitiao

Beijing Olympic Sports Centre北京奥体中心体育场 View In Map
Beijing Olympics Sport Centre was built in 1990 as a venue for the 1990 Asian Games. Renovations allowed it to reach a maximum capacity of 36,228 and it covers an area of 34,975 square metres. During the 2008 Summer Olympic Games the stadium was the location of football matches, and the cross country and show jumping legs of the modern pentathlon event. The stadium ranks amongst the one hundred largest stadiums in Asia

Add: 1 Anding Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
地址: 北京市朝阳区 安定路1号
Tel: 010 64910218

Wukesong Sports Centre 五棵松体育中心View In Map
Wukesong Sports Centre, in close proximity to Wukesong’s Line 1 metro station, is also known as Wukesong Indoor Stadium and was home to the basketball heats and finals of the 2008 Olympics. The site was also the home to a temporary baseball stadium which has since has been dismantled. It was the site of the only American Major League Baseball games to ever be held in China, with guests such as the Los Angeles Dodgers tearing up the grounds.

The hi-tech sports centre, which has a capacity of 18,000, is still home to a number of local sporting events and is also a venue for musical concerts. In 2009 the centre saw big stars such as Beyonce take to the stage at the venue.

Wukesong Arena
Add: 12 Xicui Lu, Haidian District, Beijing
地址:北京市海淀区西翠路12号

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Keywords: Beijing wukesong arena Beijing stadiums where to see sports Beijing gymnasiums Beijing Beijing sports venues

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