- The owner of a professional Chinese soccer team has kicked off construction on a $1.7 billion soccer stadium, which, when completed in 2022, will be the largest soccer-specific stadium in the world.
- Guangzhou Evergrande, a member of the Chinese Football Association’s Chinese Super League, broke ground last week on the lotus-shaped stadium that will include 100,000 seats and 162 VIP boxes. Guangzhou is known as China’s ‘Flower City’ which is the inspiration behind the venue's elaborate orange petal-like exterior.
- Construction work on the project began shortly after China lifted social distancing restrictions in order to meet the 2022 completion date, as the stadium is intended to host events for the 2023 Asian Cup.
Evergrande Group, the largest real estate company in China and the owner of Guangzhou Evergrande, announced that in addition to the Flower City stadium, it would build two additional stadiums with capacities of 80,000 elsewhere in the country, according to ESPN. Eight different designs for the stadium were submitted, including some from the United States, before Evergrande selected Shanghai-based architect Hasan Syed.
Many Major League Soccer (MLS) stadiums in the U.S. are also NFL stadiums. The largest home to a pro soccer team in the states is the Atlanta United FC’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, which is also home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, and has a maximum capacity of 71,000.
The two most-expensive, highest-profile stadiums in the U.S. are currently under construction. SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles — with an event-expanded capacity that can reach 100,240, and a normal capacity of 70,240 — and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas — which can expand from 65,000 to 72,000 seats, will be two of the largest stadiums in the country. Camp Nou in Barcelona, the current largest soccer-only stadium in the world by capacity, was finished in 1957 and can hold 99,354 people.
Increasingly, stadiums and professional sporting events need to compete with the at-home viewer experience, leading to stadiums turning into entertainment hubs with surrounding attractions. Part of that is often leveraging state-of-the-art designs and architecture to turn a stadium into a landmark, with mixed-use features in and around the venue.