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World’s Largest Soccer Stadium Breaks Ground

Monday, April 27, 2020

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Guanzhou Evergrande Taobao F.C., a Chinese football club, recently broke ground on a $1.7 billion soccer stadium in Guanzhou, China.

Once completed, the stadium is expected to be the largest soccer-only stadium in the world.

About the Project

In what will be home to Chinese Football Association’s Chinese Super League team Guangzhou Evergrande, the “Flower City” stadium received eight designs from all over the world prior to landing on Shanghai-based American designer Hasan Syed’s design of the lotus-shaped arena.

Currently, Guangzhou Evergrande calls the Tianhe Stadium home, which features a 58,500-seat arena that ESPN estimates saw an average of 46,000 fans per game in 2019.

Regarding the design of the Flower City stadium, President of Evergrande (China’s largest real estate company and owner of Guangzhou Evergrande), Xia Haijun said, "Evergrande Stadium will become a new world-class landmark comparable to the Sydney Opera House and Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and an important symbol of Chinese football to the world.”

According to reports, the stadium will host 100,000 seats, 168 VIP boxes, 16 VVIP private suits, a FIFA area and more. With such numbers, the stadium is expected to surpass Barcelona’s Camp Nou and equal Iran’s Azadi Stadium as the largest soccer-specific stadium.

The price of the project is also reported to be one of the most expensive construction projects in the sports realm, passing recent stadium builds in Atlanta (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, $1.5 billion) and London (Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, $1.3 billion).

The project is slated to be completed in 2022 and hopes to host the 2023 Asian Cup—should social distancing and mass gathering restrictions due to COVID-19 be lifted by then.

However, the original season kickoff in February has still been postponed until further notice.

In the meantime, ESPN reports that this is not the only project Evergrande is working on, and that the real estate company actually plans to build at least two more arenas at other locations in the country with capacities of at least 80,000.

While locations of these stadiums have not been decided, Evergrande recently released six possible designs submitted by designers from Germany, Brazil and the United States. Evergrande has asked sports fans to choose the two designs they like the most.

Other Soccer Stadium Projects

Back in November 2018, joint venture Messer Construction and Harmon Construction, with architecture firm HOK, began constructing $65 million soccer stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. The 11,000-seat stadium is the centerpiece for a larger, $200 million, 40-acre mixed-used development in the works for the city’s Waterfront Park area.

At the time, the project was slated to be complete by March of this year.

More recently, in February 2019, a $250 million stadium was approved by Cincinnati city council. Meis Architects, along with Cincinnati-based Elevar Design Group, released renderings of the new 26,500-seat West End Stadium in November 2018, with emphasis on the structure of the roof.

Later that summer, officials revealed new renderings, showing that the 360-degree canopy roof had been upgraded to use 513 vertical fins, housing 2.5 miles of what officials call a “one-of-a-kind” LED lighting system, which will allow motion sequences to be displayed on the stadium’s east-facing facade.

The stadium is slated for completion by March 2021.

Around the same time, professional soccer franchise Austin FC—a club backed by Anthony Precourt‘s Precourt Sports Ventures—also released digital renderings of a new soccer stadium, slated to be built at McKalla Place in North Austin, Texas.

The open-air stadium and soccer park will serve as Major League Soccer's 27th team, is expected to host 20,500 seats and costs $240 million. However, according to Soccer Stadium Digest, the roof will be capable of covering all seats within the stadium.

Construction for the project was expected to begin in September 2019, with an open date set for spring of 2021.


Tagged categories: AS; China; Color + Design; Color + Design; Commercial / Architectural; Commerial/Architectural; Design; Design - Commercial; Designers; Ongoing projects; Project Management; Projects - Commercial; Stadiums/Sports Facilities

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