Photo: Edwin Lee/Flickr
The stadium-building frenzy that took over China in the lead up to the 2008 Olympics hasn’t stopped.The glitzy new Shanghai Oriental Sports centre opened earlier this summer, and more venues are currently under construction in cities and towns across the country.
But these stadiums have one little problem: no one uses them.
China’s domestic sports scene is still in its infancy — with basketball and a corruption-hit soccer league the only viable organisations.
That means many of these spectacular-looking, expensively-built monuments sit empty until they lure big international competitions to town once or twice a year.
The Bird's Nest is one of the most iconic buildings of the 21st century.
After it was centre stage during the Olympics, it's fallen into relative disuse.
The 91,000-seat venue is now a tourist trap where visitors pay $7 to enter the souvenir shop.
The local soccer team doesn't play there, and the only events it holds are sporadic concerts or exhibition games.
260,000 people showed up to the inaugural China Grand Prix in 2004. But that has plummeted over the years, and only 150,000 attended the race in 2010.
The race is the one notable event held at the track annually. It sits empty the rest of the year.
There are even rumours that the local government bused in fans to fill the stands at the last Grand Prix
The stadium hosts one ATP tournament a year -- the ATP Masters.
That's fine if you're hosting Wimbledon or the U.S. Open.
But building a stadium just so you can host a second-tier event for one week a year? That shows you just how dedicated the Chinese government is to building world-class venues.
Source: Global Times
The Water Cube is now second-fiddle as far as Chinese aquatics venues go.
The complex has an 18,000-seat indoor pool, a 5,000-seat indoor pool, and a 5,000-seat outdoor pool.
It hosted the FINA Swimming Championships this summer.
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