On Thursday, Chinese Super League Champions Guangzhou Evergrande broke ground on a new stadium, which is set to become the largest professional football stadium in the world with a capacity of 100,000 spectators and boasting a floor area of 150,000 square meters.
The stadium, scheduled to be ready by the end of 2022, will surpass the capacity of Barcelona’s Camp Nou – at least until the Spanish giants expand their home to 105,000 seats after its ongoing redevelopment.
Image via @UglyWally/Weibo
Given Guangzhou’s nickname as the ‘City of Flowers,’ it seems only fitting that the city’s grand new stadium is designed with the appearance of a blooming lotus flower, the brainchild of Shanghai-based American designer Hasan A. Syed.
According to state media, Evergrande Real Estate Group, the majority shareholder in Guangzhou Evergrande, will invest RMB12 billion on the project, which is set to include a sports complex alongside the stadium.
The goal is to have the stadium ready to host the opening ceremony of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, according to Evergrande Group President Xia Haijun.
The new home looks set to even further bolster Guangzhou Evergrande, who have dominated Chinese football over the last decade, winning eight of the last nine Chinese Super League (CSL) titles, as well as the AFC Champions League twice.
The stadium location is near Guangzhou South Railway Station – roughly 30 kilometers from the city’s Tianhe district and Evergrande's current home Tianhe Sports Stadium, located directly north of Zhujiang New Town.
[Cover image via @UglyWally/Weibo]