【Chinese football starts again】

Editor's note:

For Chinese football, 2023 is a year of fresh start. Chinanews.com launched the "Chinese Football Re-start" series of planning, focusing on the road to China's football revitalization.

Beijing, June 6 (Zhongxin Net) -- "The new professional football stadium is equivalent to the IMAX of Chinese football," a general manager of a Chinese Super League club told reporters figuratively.

In mid-June, the Chinese men's national team will play two international A-level friendly matches at the Barracuda Bay Football Stadium in Dalian, and another professional football stadium in China will be officially unveiled.

Not only the national football team, but also the Chinese Super League clubs entering the era of new professional football stadiums.

Together with the Tianjin TEDA Football Stadium and Dalian Barracuda Bay Football Stadium, which will be opened in the second half of the season, as many as seven Chinese Super League teams will play professional football stadiums this season.

Beijing "New Gongti", Shanghai "80,000 People", Chengdu Phoenix Mountain and other stadiums that have been put into use, the ball market continues to be popular, and gradually become a new check-in point in the city.

Beijing Guoan home worker. Photo by China News Agency reporter Tomita


According to public data, there were more than 10.158 million live spectators in the first 19776 rounds of this season, with an average of <>,<> spectators per game.

Beijing Guoan, Shanghai Shenhua and Chengdu Rongcheng were the main spectators: Beijing Gongti averaged 41450,39566 spectators per game, and Chengdu Phoenix Mountain also had an average audience of 28126,<>; Shanghai Shenhua's home stadium is still an average of <>,<> people watching the game under the condition of limiting the flow.

Whether you follow football or not, the hot pictures of the home stadiums of Chinese Super League teams this season may have been brushed in your circle of friends.

Chengdu is the home stadium. Image source: IC photo

Under the hot ball market, the attraction of professional football stadiums cannot be ignored.

For the traditional powerhouses Beijing Guoan and Shanghai Shenhua, the fan base and culture are already deep, and the professional football stadium that meets the standards for hosting World Cup events is more the icing on the cake.

Chengdu Rongcheng's home stadium, Phoenix Mountain Professional Football Stadium, has completely activated the watching genes of Sichuan fans. After returning to the Chinese Super League last season, the team is gradually on track and is now unbeaten in 24 games across the season, temporarily ranking second in the Super League.

The excellent performance guarantee, coupled with the deep sense of participation and experience brought by the home chorus and other links, has made the Chengdu football market continue to be popular and out of the circle, attracting more and more people to enter the stadium.

Home of Chengdu Rongcheng. Image source: IC photo

Peng Xiaotu is one of them. During last year's World Cup in Qatar, she became interested in football. A native of Chengdu, she has been drawn to Chengdu's home atmosphere this season.

Before going to the Phoenix Mountain Football Stadium, Peng Xiaotu had never experienced the football scene. A new fan, she is now a regular at the stadium.

"Every time I watch a game on the day, I look forward to it, and watching the game live is one of my more avid hobbies at the moment. I want to maintain that sense of belief and hopefully bring a little bit of strength to our city's team. ”

"For me, after walking out of school, I don't sing the national anthem many times. Now every time before the game, when tens of thousands of people stand up and sing the national anthem, they really burst into tears, and I sincerely hope that our Chinese football can get better and better. Peng Xiaotu said.

The home stadium of promoted horse Qingdao Manatee has also been popular this season, with nearly 3,33582 people pouring in with Shandong Taishan's Qilu derby, and <>,<> people watching the match against Wuhan Three Towns. For Qingdao, such a large number of spectators was relatively rare before the era of professional football stadiums.

Chengdu home post-match "concert" session. Image source: IC photo

After the completion and use of the new professional football stadium in China, it has gradually become a major option and check-in point for many people to travel.

Before the "May Day" holiday, Shanghai fan Wang Jia specially chose to bring his family to Beijing, one of the main reasons is the "new work body". Walking through many professional football stadiums, he specially chose the "top seat" of the top stand to overlook the entire stadium.

Shandong fan Zhang Yang also went to Beijing to check in the "new worker", and the new sense of experience brought him a great shock.

"I have experienced every corner of the old Gongti stand, and as a professional football stadium, the visual impact of the "New Worker" is very strong, because the fans are closer to the players, the viewing experience has improved a lot, and there is a feeling of watching the game in the European stadium. ”

Fans in the Beijing Gongti stands. Photo by China News Agency reporter Han Haidan

The "IMAX" of Chinese football

This season, a total of 7 teams have used newly built or renovated professional football stadiums as their home stadiums.

Beijing Guoan uses "new industrial body", Shanghai Port home is SAIC Pudong Football Stadium, Shanghai Shenhua is the renovated Shanghai "80,000 people" as the main stadium, Qingdao Manatee is the main stadium of Qingdao Youth Football Stadium, and Chengdu Rongcheng is the home stadium of Phoenix Mountain.

In the second half of the season, Tianjin Jinmen Tigers will host TEDA Football Stadium, and Dalian Renren will also choose the opportunity to set up their home stadium at Barracuda Bay Football Stadium.

It has been 30 years since the professionalization of Chinese football, and this is the first time this scene.

Beijing Gongti. Photo by China News Agency reporter Han Haidan

According to statistics, before 2020, there were only 7 professional football stadiums in China, such as the Hongkou Football Stadium, which was once the home of Shanghai Shenhua for many years. But of these professional football stadiums, only the Hong Kong Stadium has the capacity to host World Cup finals.

At that time, Japan had 15 professional football stadiums (13 professional football stadiums) that met the standards of World Cup events, and South Korea had 12 (9 professional football stadiums).

Qatar has taken advantage of the opportunity to host the World Cup, and the number of professional stadiums that can meet the hosting of World Cup events has reached 12.

SAIC Pudong Football Stadium. Photo by China News Network reporter Bian Liqun

Today, China has been greatly strengthened in terms of professional football stadiums. In addition to the 7 professional football stadiums used by Chinese Super League teams, Kunshan Football Stadium, Xiamen Bailu Stadium, Chongqing Longxing Football Stadium and Xi'an International Football Stadium have also been completed or are close to use.

The Yellow River Football Stadium in Jinan is under construction, and the Shenzhen Stadium is in the process of being converted into a professional football stadium.

Rendering of the professional football stadium in Barracuda Bay, Dalian. Structure of MCC Steel

Zhang Dong, general manager of Qingdao Manatee, vividly compared the professional football stadium to "IMAX": "Just like watching a movie, the ordinary cinema and IMAX experience are definitely different, and the price is different." We're looking for ways to bring fans to the stadium so that fans can use the game as a regular pastime every weekend. ”

Zhang Dong revealed to reporters that in order to attract fans and seize opportunities to seek development, Qingdao Manatee Club has made many attempts, such as setting up interactive links with players on match days, local small performances, markets and other grounded landing activities.

Due to the distance between the new stadium and the city, the traffic is not very convenient. The club specially contacted the local transportation company and sent an exclusive bus to facilitate fans to watch the game.

Home of Qingdao Manatee. Photo by China News Network reporter Bian Liqun

Many Chinese Super League clubs that have entered the era of professional football stadiums are making similar efforts.

For example, in terms of viewing experience, stadium lighting shows, packaging design of large screens and surround screens, and the couple kiss cam show (kiss game) in the pre-match interactive session have almost become standard. Compared to before, it is no small improvement.

Chengdu Rongcheng set up a chorus session after each home game, the stadium lights were turned off, and songs such as "Chengdu" and "Hey Jude" were sung in the sea of stars created by fans.

According to club estimates, Chengdu Rongcheng's ticket revenue can reach more than 5000 million yuan this year. For Chinese Super League clubs in the post-Jin Yuan era, this is not a small number.

Home of Shanghai Shenhua. Photo by China News Network reporter Bian Liqun


Professional football stadiums bring to Chinese Super League clubs not only the increase in box office revenue, but also the team's surroundings, catering, etc. have also become economic growth points on match days.

Every time the reporter went to the "new worker", he would see long queues at fan shops and catering stalls. At the home of Qingdao Manatee, the reporter also saw that there were staff members selling beer on the move, which not only had local characteristics and culture, but also met the needs of fans.

In the match against Shenzhen on July 7, Tianjin Jinmen Tigers will return to TEDA Football Stadium, staff member Zhao Bo revealed to China News Network reporter that the club has made relevant plans for stadium catering services and peripheral product sales, hoping to better serve fans and bring more convenience.

TEDA Football Stadium is ready. Photo courtesy of Tianjin Jinmen Tigers Football Club

For Chinese football, professional football stadiums are a new thing, and most of the current attempts and efforts are in their infancy, facing opportunities and full of challenges.

Zhang Dong, general manager of Qingdao Manatee Club, told reporters, "In order to catch up with the use of the youth football stadium this year, a lot of work is actually in a hurry, such as acceptance, parking lots, business districts and other surrounding infrastructure construction, etc., and now the stadium only has basic functions for the time being." ”

The situation is basically the same for the "new work". Jin Fei, deputy general manager of Gongti, told reporters frankly that the current operation of the venue is still in a basic stage, which has not reached the highest level, and there is a lot of room for improvement in the future.

Beijing Gongti. Photo by Sheng Jiapeng, reporter of China News Agency

Behind the boom of the professional football stadium of the Chinese Super League, it is also inseparable from the guarantee of the stadium operation team.

Jin Fei revealed that the main task of the industrial sports operation team at present is to ensure the smooth progress of the Beijing Guoan Chinese Super League competition.

"Guoan is a 30-year-old brand in Beijing, and it is also a city business card and cultural symbol, and this brand cannot be a problem in our hands, which is our responsibility, so we did politely refuse many artists to come here to hold concerts before."

"However, with the full completion of industrial parks and commercial complexes in the future, we will gradually shift to asset-light operations and become more diversified." In the future, our focus on venue operation, commercial block operation and sports and cultural operation is still in a state of gradual adjustment. Jin Fei said.

Renderings of the perimeter of the new work. Photo courtesy of Chaoyang District, Beijing

As a "veteran" of venue operation, Jin Fei believes that there are still many gaps in the content of domestic venues.

"Including professional football stadiums, many sports venues in China are relatively large, but there is no content, which can only meet the primary national fitness needs. Like Europe, the United States or Asian regions where the cultural and sports industry is more prosperous, they have many sports events, including culture, artists, e-sports and other kinds of shows. ”

Among the newly built professional football stadiums in China, the "new worker" has many innate advantages.

In addition to the brand heritage of the city and Beijing Guoan, the geographical advantage of being located in the core business districts such as Sanlitun, and with the blessing of industrial and commercial bodies and urban parks, "New Gongti" has high-quality development conditions.

In Jin Fei's words, "Our challenge is not to operate it well, but how to operate it better." Give us a little time, and after the commercial presentation in the future, it will be very different. ”

I believe that it is also more and more different, and there is also Chinese football that is organically combined with professional football stadiums. (End)

(At the request of interviewees, some names in the article are pseudonyms)