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Beijing Faces Post-olympic Dilemmas


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I think this is kind of a pathetic way to end their "Olympic legacy." But we all know how the Chinese love their shopping. ;)

Hey, they could always call it "The Great Mall of China." Wait, that already exists in San Gabriel, California. :lol:

Beijing's Bird's Nest to anchor shopping complex

1 day ago

BEIJING (AP) — The area around Beijing's massive Bird's Nest stadium will be turned into a shopping and entertainment complex in three to five years, a state news agency said Friday.

Officially known as the Beijing National Stadium, the showpiece of the Beijing Olympics has fallen into disuse since the end of the games. Paint is already peeling in some areas, and the only visitors these days are tourists who pay 50 yuan (about $7) to walk on the stadium floor and browse a pricey souvenir shop.

Plans call for the $450 million stadium to anchor a complex of shops and entertainment outlets in three to five years, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing operator Citic Group. The company will continue to develop tourism as a major draw for the Bird's Nest, while seeking sports and entertainment events.

The only confirmed event at the 91,000-seat stadium this year is Puccini's opera "Turandot," set for Aug. 8 — the one-year anniversary of the Olympics' opening ceremony. The stadium has no permanent tenant after Beijing's top football club, Guo'an, backed out of a deal to play there.

Details about the development plans were not available. A person who answered the phone at Citic Group on Friday said offices were closed for the Chinese New Year holiday.

A symbol of China's rising power and confidence, the stadium, whose knickname described its lattice of exterior steel beams, may never recoup its hefty construction cost, particularly amid a global economic slump. Maintenance of the structure alone costs 60 million yuan (about $8.8 million) annually, making it difficult to turn a profit, Xinhua said.

Beijing's Bird's Nest to anchor shopping complex

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Are you insane?

What would happen to all those juicy building contracts and backhanders?

Over the IOC's dead body, my good man!!

:P

As an aside, it would be great if some courageous investigative journalist (not Andrew Jennings, he's thrown in the towel) did some research on the relations between IOC members and the construction industry (nod-nod, wink-wink)

;)

well considering some of these construction companies are choking on these contracts, like Multiplex, the Backhanders may not be there in the future. London 2012 is now saying they don't think all the contractors will survive the Capital Works for the Games. That certainly is a great way to to ruin an economy by first leveraging future generations with Debt and then cutting them off from making incomes via Construction trades. I use London as the example but the same thing happened in a smaller scale with the 2007 Rio Pan Am Games. I just watched a program on the building of JH Stadium and it seems the Contract had to be re-awarded as the original constructor went bankrupt. My cousins in Vancouver are in the Construction business big time there and actually turned down Olympic work. They have enough standard commercial work that does not have the risk or hassles. ONe of my Cousins in fact had his company for project management for a Pavco Project way before an olympic bid and has the reputation to be asked for BC Place.

Problem is there are only so many companies doing this work and you have one fall it becomes a warning sign to the rest of the industry which is very connected compared to a decade ago.

More companies lose it all over building sports stadiums then one may realize.

jim jones

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As far as the Bird's Nest goes, wouldn't it make sense for the soccer team Beijing Hyundai to move into the stadium and demolish the aging Workers Stadium?

And what is Beijing going to do with all those brand new arenas such as the Wukesong Arena and the National Indoor Arena not to mention all the ones they built at local universities? It's not like they have NCAA basketball teams waiting to move in.

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As far as the Bird's Nest goes, wouldn't it make sense for the soccer team Beijing Hyundai to move into the stadium and demolish the aging Workers Stadium?

And what is Beijing going to do with all those brand new arenas such as the Wukesong Arena and the National Indoor Arena not to mention all the ones they built at local universities? It's not like they have NCAA basketball teams waiting to move in.

It would make sense for a big soccer team to move into the National Stadium, but it would not make sense to demolish Workers Stadium.And with all the university gymnasiums I don't think we should start a Chinese version of the NCAA. Philippines already has their version of the US-based league.

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As far as the Bird's Nest goes, wouldn't it make sense for the soccer team Beijing Hyundai to move into the stadium and demolish the aging Workers Stadium?

And what is Beijing going to do with all those brand new arenas such as the Wukesong Arena and the National Indoor Arena not to mention all the ones they built at local universities? It's not like they have NCAA basketball teams waiting to move in.

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As far as the Bird's Nest goes, wouldn't it make sense for the soccer team Beijing Hyundai to move into the stadium and demolish the aging Workers Stadium?

And what is Beijing going to do with all those brand new arenas such as the Wukesong Arena and the National Indoor Arena not to mention all the ones they built at local universities? It's not like they have NCAA basketball teams waiting to move in.

It is the rent for the Bird's nest that has discouraged the Chinese soccer clubs to move it. The venues located in the university campuses are all currently use for university events. I know there are proposals for the Water cube to be tuned into a water theme park as well as office space.

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I know there are proposals for the Water cube to be tuned into a water theme park as well as office space.

Does anyone know if this model shows the final configuration of the building with the water park? - http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/view?q=wate...351381338366850 You can see the water park on the left-hand side.

Recently (last autumn I think), the Water Cube was the venue for a music / light / water fountain show. Some pics:

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/view?q=wate...300211022286002

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/view?q=wate...472448076754418

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If the shopping mall and hotel are ever built, should they be built inside of the stadium or at a nearby location?

Using the concourse levels as a shopping mall is what Cities with stadiums in Brazil are starting to do. you have a Game on Sunday and an empty parking lot for the rest of the Week if you don't have other tenants. I don't know with the open parts of the outside of the Bird Nest if this can be done. The Brazilian Idea Started in Joinville seems to be a model that could sustain a Stadium. Certainly with an architectural Icon like the Birds nest you could have a draw for a Shopping area.

Thing is even China can't have a billion dollars stadium sit gathering dust or Rust in this day and age.

Jim Jones.

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Using the concourse levels as a shopping mall is what Cities with stadiums in Brazil are starting to do. you have a Game on Sunday and an empty parking lot for the rest of the Week if you don't have other tenants. I don't know with the open parts of the outside of the Bird Nest if this can be done. The Brazilian Idea Started in Joinville seems to be a model that could sustain a Stadium. Certainly with an architectural Icon like the Birds nest you could have a draw for a Shopping area.

Thing is even China can't have a billion dollars stadium sit gathering dust or Rust in this day and age.

Jim Jones.

Actually, the stadium-mall idea was the anchor for SF's 'new' 49ers Stadium proposed in the late 90s; and which would've also been the anchor for SF's failed Olympic bids for 2012 and 2016. I dunno -- maybe the Hunters' Point location of the project wasn't ideal for the proposal, but it didn't fly either.

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What if the IOC pulled a "World Cup" and started awarding the Games to countries and regions instead of cities?

For example, Canada 2020. Ceremonies in Montreal. Athletics in Edmonton. Swimming in Halifax. Basketball in Toronto. Rowing in Victoria.

That way, the facilities are shared and one city is not burdened with the cost of building and maintaining countless facilities.

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I think the atmosphere and cohesive feel of the event would take a hit.

Same reason why I'm a bit weary of the Winter Games coming to bigger and bigger host cities. The size of the event is not proportionate to the distribution of venues across the host region. I've always heard this hurt the atmosphere at Torino 2006 - it was low on that small, intimate, "wintertime charm" of past Winter Games.

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Now, now, It doesn’t always have to be 30 years of crippling debt.

I think the idea could be tried out with a European country like the Netherlands. Solid transport links between cities, and no huge geographical expanse between events. Many venues would be located in Amsterdam, with the remaining venues spread across the country in other cities and sites.

….But large countries? They can do the job responsibly with one city if they start putting sustainability and legacy first.

Wasn't something just like this (involving an Amsterdam bid) proposed and discussed here not to long ago?

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To some extent, isn't the regionalising the games already happening?

I mea, the WOGs especially, ever since Albertville, have tended to be far more regional than centralised affairs. The whole vertical drop requirement et al means there's few who could do it all anyway.

But even the SOGs - by the time football is farmed out, we've seen equestrian in 2008 moved from beijing to HK, sailing's more often than not elsewhere from the main host. I don't doubt the IOC is well aware it's best to make the most of existing or desirable venues wherever they are (within reason).

That said, I really can't, and don't really want, where the games start getting called things like "Illinois 2016", "NSW 2040", "Isle de France 2020" etc. I think there's always a need for a host city to anchor and focus the celebrations.

Edited by Sir Roltel
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I guess Canada was a bad example to use because of the massive size of the country.

But Amsterdam 2024 spread out over the whole of the Netherlands, or Miami 2028 spread out over South Florida, or Osaka 2032 spread out over Kansai may be better illustrations of this idea.

I think there is a need to be compact and spread out. Compact so that the central Olympic centre is well clustered and utilized, but spread out so that the repeated or smaller venues have a better legacy.

As for the winter Games, well they have different challenges. Snow and mountains. And now that the Games have grown so much, I think it will be hard to go back to the smaller villages of the past. Vancouver, Sapporo, Calgary, Salt Lake, and Torino may remain as the largest cities to host. But the Lillehammers, Albertvilles, and Lake Placids of the world are going to have a hard time making it happen. VANOC employs 1200 people. That's half the population of Lake Placid!

Hopefully, we'll get more Sarajevos, Innsbrucks, Grenobles, and other mid-sized cities in the mix. But the winter Games have fewer venue issues. And I can't see why a speed skating oval can't be turned into a new revenue generating mid-sized convention centre for such a community.

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VANOC employs 1200 people. That's half the population of Lake Placid!

:lol:

And I can't see why a speed skating oval can't be turned into a new revenue generating mid-sized convention centre for such a community.

Actually, I've always thought that an enclosed speed skating oval could double as a velodrome in the summer months since the sppedskaters train as cyclists in the off months -- so that the venue would be totally complementary to the two sports. (Of course, it will be quite an engineering feat to do this.)

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Yeah, I guess a fair atmosphere for 16 days is worth 30 years of crippling debt.

To be fair, much of the $40-billion went towards infrastructure that a rapidly growing China needed regardless of the Games.

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Oh, I'm not anti-Olympics...far from it! But I just believe that Olympic planners and the IOC need to be more prudent in their post-games planning. This isn't exactly a new lesson, but it seems to be repeated time and time again.

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To be fair, much of the $40-billion went towards infrastructure that a rapidly growing China needed regardless of the Games.

40 Billion is the Official figure and with Chinese Labor . The realistic cost in terms of labor costs for what China did to Beijing for the Olympics is estimated at triple that 40 billion . You don't move steel plants and other heavy industries and not pay a huge price.

jim jones

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Actually, the stadium-mall idea was the anchor for SF's 'new' 49ers Stadium proposed in the late 90s; and which would've also been the anchor for SF's failed Olympic bids for 2012 and 2016. I dunno -- maybe the Hunters' Point location of the project wasn't ideal for the proposal, but it didn't fly either.

A good idea where ever it was first thought of and where it was first put into action. You think of it you might have one to three event days in a major sports venue and the rest of the week the venue sits empty. Glass Curtain walls are becoming fairly common with stadiums so why not use that space seven days a week.

Jim jones

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A good idea where ever it was first thought of and where it was first put into action. You think of it you might have one to three event days in a major sports venue and the rest of the week the venue sits empty. Glass Curtain walls are becoming fairly common with stadiums so why not use that space seven days a week.

Jim jones

At least in the U.S., stadium-adjacent shopping malls don't have a great record:

New Orleans Centre (near the Superdome):

http://www.deadmalls.com/malls/new_orleans_centre.html

Tampa Bay Center (near Raymond James Stadium):

http://www.deadmalls.com/malls/tampa_bay_center.html

often due to customers that are cut off during game days (huge crowds of people fill up parking and roads during the games, don't shop during the games, and leave after the stores are already closed) and limited access to these sites due to stadium parking and site requirements (due to noise and traffic, stadiums are often located a considerable distance from where people would otherwise be).

CHItown '16

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At least in the U.S., stadium-adjacent shopping malls don't have a great record:

New Orleans Centre (near the Superdome):

http://www.deadmalls.com/malls/new_orleans_centre.html

Tampa Bay Center (near Raymond James Stadium):

http://www.deadmalls.com/malls/tampa_bay_center.html

often due to customers that are cut off during game days (huge crowds of people fill up parking and roads during the games, don't shop during the games, and leave after the stores are already closed) and limited access to these sites due to stadium parking and site requirements (due to noise and traffic, stadiums are often located a considerable distance from where people would otherwise be).

Funny that these planners have never studied the habits of shoppers and game goers. I am not a big US Football fan myself but I think that:

#1 - if you are going either to an NFL or college game, your mind is set on the tailgate parties and cheering your team to victory or death -- not going to some Victoria's Secret or Gap or Coach store. Then you get the hell outta the stadium parking lot!

#2 - Similarly, when one if going to shop (i.e., mostly women), their mind is set on hitting a whole row of shops (Rodeo Drive, Magnificent Mile, Union Square or some major mall). They can't be bothered with whether a stadium is close by or not. If anything, having a major stadium close by is only a reminder that they become 'football' widows a few weekends every month!!

Also, what do you do with all your shopping bags if you are going to shop AND then to a game? Lug the bags into the stadium? Walk the 5 miles to the car to deposit your bags -- if you remember to put them in the trunk -- and then back to the stadium? Hmmm... logistically tricky.

The two paradigms don't mix. It's only casinos (i.e., Caesar's, the Venetian, the Bellagio) where this dichotomy works. But nowadays with NO money and credit, NEITHER plan is going to work. Maybe China can make it work.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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