Construction has commenced on 8-time Chinese Super League (CSL) champions Guangzhou Evergrande F.C.’s new stadium. The project, which comes as a result of China’s push to promote football within the country, is scheduled for completion in 2022. It is expected to cost 12 billion RMB (1.7 billion USD), and will seat 100,000 fans, overtaking Barcelona’s infamous Camp Nou as the world’s largest football stadium.
Given the state of news in China the past few months, the announcement brings some hope to players and fans who seem ecstatic to once again celebrate the sport as clubs begin to train for the upcoming season. The traditional March start for the Chinese football season was delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but there are hopes that matches can kick off in the next month or so.
“I already cannot wait to play a game in the brand new stadium. Let’s go Guangzhou!”
writes Evergrande star midfielder Elkeson in a post on Chinese social media platform Weibo. Other users simply write “It’s too special!” and “It’s beautiful.”
Evergrande’s stadium showcases state-of-the-art technology including scoreboards integrated into the walls. But, its most important feature is surely the lotus flower exterior designed by Shanghai-based designer Hasan Syed, an homage to Guangzhou’s reputation as China’s “flower city.”
Naturally netizens on Weibo and Twitter have taken the liberty of getting creative with the Stadium’s mock up, inserting Chinese cartoons and deities (including Nezha) and putting it side by side with some interesting items.
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The start date for the CSL is still to be determined as border closures leave some players and coaches stranded around the world. However, the Evergrande team and fans alike will now have something to look forward to when football comes back to China.
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