Guangzhou is China's third largest city, and it has the lively sports scene to show it. Though passed over for a chance to hold the 2008 Olympics, Guangzhou is a regular location for national and international tournaments, especially in basketball, soccer, badminton and table-tennis. Surprisingly, it even hosts a WTA tennis tournament and an occasional baseball game. If you've never seen live sports here, it's easier than you think, as some of Guangzhou's stadiums are right in the centre of town. I've put together a collection of ten of the city's best stadiums and sports complexes, including some lesser known arenas alongside the more famous.
1) Yuexiu Mountain Stadium 越秀山体育场 View In Map
Built in 1950, this stadium has a fantastic location, just south of Yuexiu Mountain in Yuexiu Park.
It regularly hosts Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Company games, who –despite the awkward name - are Guangdong's most famous football team, and is used for other athletic events. It is sometimes open for public use.
Seating capacity: 35,000
Address: Yuexiu Park, Yingyua Lu应元路越秀公园
Information: 020 - 8355 4604
Transportation: Take metro Line 2 to Sun-Yat Sen Memorial Hall and use Exit A. The stadium is by Zhenhai Tower near the southern foot of Yuexiu Mountain.
2) Provincial People’s Stadium 广东省人民体育场 View In Map
This historical Guangzhou stadium was rebuilt from an older one in 1906. It had previously been used as an army training center from the Tang period to the Qing, later as a sports center, and later still as an execution ground.
Since 1905, it has returned to sports use, having held more than 400 national soccer matches and more than 100 international games between 1980 and 2000 alone. Its modern legacy also includes twice hosting the International Women’s World Cup, as well as the Olympic Qualifiers in 1987 and the Eighth Asian Women’s Soccer Tournament in 1997. Besides soccer, the Provincial People’s Stadium also holds tournaments in basketball, volleyball, badminton, tennis and gymnastics.
Seating Capacity: 25,000
Address: 18 Jiaochang Xilu 较场西路18号
Information:020 - 8380 9911
Transportation: Take metro to Martyr’s Park on Line 1 and use Exit A. It’s about a ten minute walk toward Jiaochang Road, next to China Plaza shopping mall.
3) Guangdong Olympic Stadium 广东奥林匹克体育场 View In Map
Originally opened in 2001, this architecturally-inspired center was considered a likely alternative to host the 2008 Olympics before the new sports arena in Beijing was built. The building is one of the loveliest and most unique in the city, and is part of a ten million square-foot complex that includes hotels, sports facilities and over 100,000 square feet of retail space.
Guangdong Olympic Stadium is multi-purpose, but is used mostly for soccer matches. It’s opening year it featured the 2001 National Games of the People’s Republic of China, and it has also hosted English soccer teams such as Manchester United in 2007 and Chelsea in 2008. It will be a main center of the 2010 Asian Games.
Seating Capacity: 80,000
Address: Daguan Lu, Dongpu Town, Tianhe Distirct, Guangzhou (this is far east Guangzhou, near Huangcheng Expressway) 天河区东圃镇大观南路
Information: Offices: 020 8216 9639, Sports venue: 020 8216 8189
Transportation: Metro stop Huangcun will open there in the near future. For now, take bus 41, 60, 296, 508, 224, 224A, 245, 505, 508, 548, 564, 568, 571A, 574 or 576. Exit at the Olympic Stadium bus stop.
4) Tianhe Sports Center 天河体育中心 View In Map
Covering 580,000 square meters near centrally-located CITIC Plaza, Tianhe Sports Center features a stadium, gymnasium and natatorium along with other facilities. It is open for public use, and has also held major tournaments such as the National Games of China and the FIFA Women’s World Cup. It is another regular venue for Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Soccer Team.
Tianhe Sports Center is enormously multi-use, containing facilities for track and field, basketball, tennis, bowling, football, golf, badminton, table-tennis, croquet, baseball , snooker, swimming, bodybuilding and martial arts. It is also a good location to buy sporting goods.
Stadium Capacity: 60,000
Address: 299 Tianhe Lu, Guangzhou天河路299号
Information: 020 - 3879 6060
Transportation: Take metro Line 1 to Tianhe Sports Center, which brings you out immediately beside it.
5) Guangzhou Tianhe Baseball Field 广州天河棒球场
Tianhe Baseball Field, a sometime host of the Guangdong Leopards, is located in the northwest corner of Tianhe Sports Center [see above].
Although baseball is still a fledgling sport in China, the China Baseball League has been around since 2002, and today features seven teams competing for the national championship. The Guangdong Leopards have never won, but have placed second three times. Their regular stadium is in Zhongshan.
Information: 020 - 8216 8558
6) Shaw Sports Complex (at Jinan University) 暨南大学邵逸夫体育馆 View In Map
Covering 17,300 square meters, Jinan University’s Shaw Sports Complex is one of the best venues in Guangzhou to see collegiate sports. It regularly hosts the Guangdong University Basketball League and in 2008 was the venue of the Guangdong Province College Student Tennis Championships. It contains facilities for basketball, volleyball, tennis, badminton, handball, table-tennis, gymnastics and martial arts. It is also open for public use.
Address: Jinan University, 601 Huangpu Dadaoxi, Tianhe District, Guangzhou 天河区黄埔大道西601号暨南大学
Information: 020 - 8522 0114
Transportation: Take metro Line 3 to Gangding station. There is a university entrance on either Shipai Dong Road or Zhongshan Dadaoxi. The sports complex is on Yangcheng Road within the university.
7) Guangzhou International Tennis Center 广州国际网球中心
Completed in the summer of 2009, Guangzhou International Tennis Center is the largest tennis complex in southern China. It will be the regular host of the Guangzhou International Women's Open, which is usually held in mid-September. It is also used as a top-level training facility.
Address: Guangzhou Science Town, Luogang District. Katai Avenue is on its east and Yingri Road on its south. The area is in far northeast Guangzhou just north of Guangshen Expressway.
8) Shamian Tennis Courts沙面网球场 View In Map
These popular courts on Shamian Island are mainly for public use, but have also hosted competitions, including the 2006 Amateur Tennis Masters Cup.
Address: 5 Shamian Nan Street, adjacent to White Swan Hotel 沙面南街5号
Information: 020 - 8121 9026, 8188 9026
Transportation: Huangsha Metro on Line 1. Cross onto Shamien island and head southeast to Shamian Da Street. Just fifteen or so minutes walking.
9) Fangcun Tennis Center芳村网球俱乐部 View In Map
This large training center in Liwan District contains sixteen practice courts, and its entire complex covers 47,000 square meters. It hosted the Ninth National Tennis tournament in 2001 and has twice hosted the Guangzhou International Women's Open. The facilities are regularly open for public use.
Address: 277-279 Longxi Dadao, Liwan District, Guangzhou 荔湾区龙溪大道中277-279号
Information: 020 - 8160 0427, 81600228）
Transportation: Take 838 or 207 bus. Get off at Yundongchang stop.
10) Guangzhou Gymnasium广州体育馆 View In Map
Guangzhou Gymnasium's three domed roofs lay at the western foot of Mount Baiyun. The elegantly-designed stadium, training hall and sports center are equipped for multiple sports competitions. With three main buildings laid out in a gentle curve over an 8-hectare park, Guangzhou Gymnasium also contains an athlete's village, alongside restaurants, offices and a media center. Past events include the 2008 World Team Table Tennis Championships and the 2009 Sudiram Cup (World Team Badminton). Its most regular use is for basketball.
Address: 783 Baiyun Dadao, Guangzhou 广州市白云大道南783号
Information: 020 - 3663 9105
Transportation: Use buses 864, 805, 76, 76A, 36, 529, 223, 265, 66, 891, 127, 885, 304, 529, 274, 522 or 547. Exit at Guangzhou Gymnasium stop.
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