Beijing is ready for Spring Festival

Mass migration

Beijing is ready for Spring Festival while the biggest world mass migration starts with Chinese people traveling to celebrate Chinese New Year with their families, or simply going on vacation.

I never leave Beijing during the “Golden Week” of October 1, May 1, Spring Festival (the holiday period for Chinese New Year). Railway stations and highways (certainly), and airports (sometimes) are plain chaos. Meanwhile Beijing is ready for Spring Festival for those clever people who stay and will enjoy a quiet city.

Fairs Open with Festive Shopping Experiences in Beijing

Shopping for festive goods at fairs is an essential part of this holiday. Beijing offers a variety of options, combining both modern and traditional fairs to explore.
Over 300 merchants at the Workers’ Stadium are offering a diverse array of products till 6 February. These include a wide range of traditional festive goods like bacon, dried fruits and nuts, as well as tea and even furniture. There are also specialties hailing from various regions across China, such as rice from Wuchang, oysters from Rushan, coconut powder from Hainan, beef jerky from Inner Mongolia, as well as exotic products like Russian chocolate, Ugandan coffee, Ghanaian cocoa butter, and Moldovan red wine.

Both my wife and I went exploring the market. I tasted the BBQ skewers at the stands outside of the covered market. My wife bought a full trolley of sausages, seaweed, and pressed donkey head (my daily breakfast).
Another famous fair is at the National Agricultural Exhibition Center, also until 6 February, I did not visit as I guess it is pretty similar.
The traditional “Beijing New Year Goods Fair” is a treasure trove of agricultural and other products, ranging from dried mushrooms from northeastern China to seafood delicacies from southern China, and from beef and mutton from Inner Mongolia to tonic products from Yunnan, Guizhou, and Sichuan. And also nuts, snacks, sweets, pastries, tea, seafood, and more from various provinces and cities across China.

Festive decorations

Taikooli in Sanlitun is featuring Legoland and yes there is a Lego Dragon!

Our Worker’s Stadium Avenue has festive decoration including images of leaves projected on the sidewalks.

That is in the Chaoyang section, the Dongcheng section seems to have a smaller budget… and less lights…

Beijing Workers Stadium story 5

The new look

Further to our previous post, in Beijing Workers Stadium story 5 some details on how the new Workers Stadium will be different.
A first glance came out in this article of the Beijinger on 1 March 2022.

It mentioned:

– The original layout of two tiers of seating has been changed to four tiers. Additionally, there will be lounges for fans to take a break from the match and enjoy food and refreshments.
– The reconstructed stadium will no longer have a running track. This means viewers in the lower seats will have closer proximity to the field – 8.5 m away from the action, to be exact. Moreover, around 2,000 seats will be added, bringing the total seating capacity of the stadium to 68,000.
– One of the biggest complaints about the old Stadium was that the narrow old roof just barely covered select seats on the uppermost parts of the stadium, with all other areas left uncovered. That won’t be a problem anymore, as the stadium will be equipped with a bigger roof that can cover the entire stadium, thus protecting visitors at all times, whether there’s rain or shine.
– A new underground commercial space will turn the area into an entertainment venue for people to eat, shop, and have fun. The underground complex will also act as a connection between the as of yet to-be-completed subway lines 3 and 7, with plans to connect the space to Taikoo Li in the future.

China Daily

See the article dated 4 October 2022 – “Major sports venue in Beijing to have new look”
“Beijing Workers Stadium, which was put into use in 1959 and has hosted a range of large-scale sports events – including the first National Games, the 1990 Asian Games and some events during the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics – will have a new look after a major reconstruction project that is expected to be finished by the end of the year.”

The article has more good pics of the construction, here the PDF: 221004 CDgongti.

The New Gongti Complex

Another great article in TheBeijinger dated 21 October 2022.
“What the New Gongti Complex Has in Store for Beijing”
See here the PDF with many pics and the interview with Jin Fei, the vice general manager of the operating company behind the remodel: 221021 New Gongti

“There are three main changes that have been made to Gongti. The original stadium had a running track, but after the revamp, the running track has been removed. Another big change lies in how Gongti will be used. More than 100,000 square meters of commercial facilities have been added to the complex, transforming the area into an entertainment venue where people can eat, shop and dine. The new stadium also features a giant underground plaza which soccer fans and fitness enthusiasts can explore.”

Above some pics of the 7 January 2023 article mentioned earlier.

Beijing News 20 August 2020

The online article in Chinese has some remarkable pictures.
Here another article dated 7 August 2020.
See here a few of the pics

The pics in this post are pretty unique!

Beijing Workers Stadium story 4

Progress made

In our Beijing Workers Stadium story 4 more about the progress of the works around the stadium and the other facilities under construction, a further update on our previous post.
On 10 October 2022 TheBeijinger published an update “Workers’ Stadium Nears Completion As New Additions Unveiled

On 7 January 2023 theBeijinger published an update “Workers’ Stadium Opening Pushed Back to March
I quote:

Construction on the New Workers’ Stadium complex is inching ever closer to final completion. But due to delays thanks to lockdowns at the end of the year, the time for New Gongti’s opening, originally set for December 2022, has been pushed back to March 2023, according to Beijing Evening News.
Be that as it may, the new stadium is an awe to look at, with the field itself having been fitted with turf, seating completed, and the two 300 square meter screens at either end of the stadium are currently undergoing testing. What’s more, the statue of workers has returned to its original spot in the complex’s north square, according to the Beijing Evening News report.
Construction on the roof and the facade of the complex ended in October of last year, with testing on interior and exterior stadium lighting still ongoing. As we reported in March of last year, the new Workers’ Stadium will have greater capacity: 2,000 new seats have been added to the total. Plus, four tiers of seating and the erasure of the original stadium’s running track means capacity will top out at 68,000.
Once completed, the New Gongti complex will not only be home to Beijing Guo’an football club, but the complex surrounding the stadium will host fitness, lifestyle, and dining, with a connection to the as of yet to be opened Beijing Subway Lines 3 and 17, which will have an interchange station under the stadium.
While it isn’t officially open yet, Gongti played host to a special New Year’s gala put on by BRTV, which saw the return of Cui Jian to Gongti, who first played at the original Gongti way back in 1986.

Taking shape

See how the subway construction building looked like at Shimao Gongsan shopping and now being dismantled. The subway construction building in the north-east gongti corner remains. The subway construction building in gongti south-east comer is also gone, all for Line 17.

See left of the stadium the concert hall on gongti dong lu nearing completion.
Some areal views late 2022, a screenshot about the first concert in January and the gradual cleanup around the stadium.

Lights on!

Late last year the stadium has worked hard to finish the lights on the roof

The lights have been tested many times.

Gongti West, South and East

See the construction at two locations (footh path) in Gongti West road, one is for an electric substation, the other one I am not sure.

Also the two big buildings on Gongti South and the other ones at the corner of Gongti south-east corner – those are still a bit of a mystery as mentioned in earlier posts. The outside seems nearly completed but they all look pretty empty.

Beijing Workers Stadium story3

Gongti South and East

In Beijing Workers Stadium story3 a look at the less talked about developments in the Gongti area. Indeed TheBeijinger and China Daily have been showing some details of the Workers Stadium but little or nothing about the other constructions going on in the area. See earlier post.
Much more to come, stay tuned!
In the Workers Stadium East Road (gongti dong lu) a big rather strange building is taking shape. That is supposed to be the “China Philharmonic Orchestra Concert Hall and Rehearsal Facilities” according to some Chinese signs at the construction site. No details available…

In this design sketch, the concert hall is right on the left of the new stadium. The view shown is from the north-east corner of the gongti area.
In the same picture, in the upper left corner, barely visible, are 3 buildings, located at the south-east corner of gongti area. Most of those are on Workers Stadium South Road (gongti nan lu).
Those buildings are really a bit mysterious, nobody talks about it. On the construction entrance (gongti nanlu) they mention something like “Tennis, Swimming Pool and 9 other items including Museum renovation and Beijing Staff Sports Service Center”. The two buildings on that road are very big and empty inside, so I guess at least one is a swimming facility.

See the pictures taken since may 2021 until recently with the progress of those buildings. On gongti nan lu it all started with an enormous excavation pit, there must be a lot underground.
See the dates and the locations. They are now putting windows. I still have no idea about the huge steel beams sticking out.

Other constructions nobody talks about

Right in front of Morel’s Restaurant in the night of 31 May 2018 they were pumping mud into an improvised water basin. We guess it was related to the underground work for Subway line 3. The following day all was gone without a trace! Impressive!

What is going on in and around the Workers Gymnasium is also a mystery. See a nice recent shot from the gymnasium and the buildings being razed around it on the south-west corner of the gymnasium, very close to Julong Garden.
They might also break down the interior of the gymnasium, with many trucks taking away mountains of construction debris. Right now the mountain of debris are gone and the last trucks are picking up what can be recycled. But nothing to see outside of the gymnasium… so not sure.
The statues of the Stadium area are still at the gymnasium but are expected to be put back soon.
On Workers Stadium West Road (gongti xi lu, my street), also mystery construction on the sidewalk that started in July 2022. Soon in August steel structures came up. At least one of the 3 constructions spots would be an electric substation of China Grid for the area.
Also the new big gates of the Workers Stadium are rising up (north and west sides).


Beijing Workers Stadium story2

A look into the future

In Beijing Workers Stadium story2 focus on a CGTN video by French guy Olivier who shows us the Workers Stadium under construction and what it will look like.
The French video, French only, is best here.
also here on YouTube.
With English subtitles (not that complete), see here.

Some screenshots of the video.
The main underground parking entrance would be on gongti dong lu, see the last pic.

The subways

Lines 3 and 17 will have major stations on the corner of gongti bei and gongti dong lu.
It is planned to have an underground connection with Taikooli shopping center

A good insight on the today situation and future subway lines in the area, see here and here.

Beijing Subway Line 3 (first phase)
open by the end of 2023
Dongsi Shitiao to Dongfeng – Length: 15.6 km  – Stops:10
Future Transfer with Other Lines: Dongsi Shitiao: transfer with Line 2 and Gongren Tiyuchang (Worker’s Stadium): transfer with future Line 17.

Extension Plan of Beijing Subway Line 17
The northern section of the first phase of Beijing subway line 17 is under construction. The whole project of the first phase of line 17 will cover 49.7 km with 21 stations. After completion, it will start from the Weilai Kejichengbei in the north, pass through Changping District, Dongcheng District, Chaoyang District, and finally reach the Jiahuihu Station in Tongzhou District in the south.
Future Transfer with other lines: Gongren Tiyuchang (Workers’ Stadium): Transfer with Line 3

Tuanjiehu Station at the East side of gongti bei lu is serving Line 10.

Dongdaqiao station further down South from gongti dong lu is currently serving Line 6.
M28 (planned name) – before called CBD
Dongdaqiao to Guangqudonglu with 9 Stations line length   of 8.877 km.
Planned opening: 2025.