China has started construction on an enormous stadium in Guangzhou, which will be able to host in excess of 100,000 spectators. The project is moving ahead despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and is scheduled to open by the end of 2022. Once complete, the arena will be one of the largest soccer stadiums in the worlds – surpassing the size of Barcelona’s ‘Camp Nou’, which is currently subject to renovation plans.
Funded by the Evergrande Group, the stadium, which will serve as the home of Guangzhou Evergrande, has been designed by Hasan a. Syed – design director in Gensler’s Shanghai office. Selected ahead of other competing schemes, the final design recalls the form a lotus flower, referencing Guangzhou’s reputation as a ‘Flower City’. According to local reports, the stadium’s design was heavily influenced by Xu Jiayin, chairman of the Evergrande group.
The project is part of China’s plans to increase the country’s soccer infrastructure, and hopes to make China competitive on the international stage. The development team also announced that it will build an additional three to five world-class soccer stadiums across the country with capacities ranging between 80,000 and 100,000.