Guo’an to Move Next Season as Workers’ Stadium Begins 3-Year Renovations
With just two games left in China's football season, and barely two months into the reign of new coach Bruno Génésio, Beijing’s own Guo’an team has just found out that they will have to pick up and move house. According to the Jinan Times, Workers’ Stadium will undergo renovations for the next three years, and Guo’an's home games will be held at the National Olympic Sports Center Stadium in the north of the city.
Workers' Stadium has hosted the team since just after the last Olympics, when the team moved to Sanlitun from Beijing Fengtai Stadium in 2009. A farewell ceremony is planned for after the final match of the season, even though games will return to their more central home in 2023.
Guo’an currently ranks third in the China Super League, having won 19 out of 26 games and drawn once, putting them behind Shanghai East Asia and Guangzhou Evergrand FC. Before the final match on Nov 27 against Shandong Luneng, currently trailing them in fourth place, they will have to face their long-time rivals, Tianjin TEDA, this Saturday.
Presumably, the stadium renovations are being made in preparation for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Most snow sports will be held in Zhangjiakou and Yanqing, but a number of ice sports will be held in Beijing across at least 12 different venues. However, it is not immediately clear what games, if any, will be held at Workers' Stadium. So far, it has been announced that ice hockey teams will compete in the Wukesong Arena, while Capital Indoor Stadium will host short track speed skating and figure skating, and the Water Cube will host curling competitions.
Stadium renovations are just a small part of the developments we can expect in the lead up to the games, which are already well underway according to an analysis by the International Olympic Committee. Transportation developments range from a high-speed train that will connect the three participating cities to projects much closer-to-home, namely, a Workers’ Stadium Subway Station that scheduled to open in 2021, finally providing a stop squarely within Sanlitun.
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Images: Stadiums and Cities, Sohu