sports arenas


sports arenas
Until the reform era introduced financial and cultural concerns, major sports events were occasions for the display of state power. In Beijing, the Workers’ Stadium was built in preparation for the First National Games of the PRC in 1959 and subsequent National Games were held there. Economic reform, however, brought about a change in the management of stadiums and gymnasiums: No longer subsidized by the state, they support themselves through renting space to shops, selling advertising signage, running hotels and taxi fleets, and charging admission.
The Asian Games Village was constructed in the north of the city for the 1990 Asian Games and has since become a major tourist site charging admission. No longer commemorating only the power of the central state, the natatorium was funded by a wealthy Hong Kong developer, Henry Fok, with his name prominently displayed. Another new concern was that stadium architecture should possess ‘Chinese characteristics’, such as the dragons and cauldron added to the Workers’ Stadium for the 1990 Asian Games, and the sloping roofs at the Asian Games Village. Plans for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games have budgeted US$2 billion for the construction and renovation of thirty-two venues in Beijing, five elsewhere, and an Olympic village in northern Beijing near the Asian Games Village on a site that had been reserved by city planners for that purpose because of its good fengshui.
SUSAN BROWNELL

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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