Beijing Workers Stadium story1

The old and the new

The Beijing Workers Stadium story1 (“the gongti area”) is the first of a series of articles about this famous Beijing landmark, its history, what the future holds and the progress of construction.
I posted several earlier articles since 2020:

Gongti strip to disappear10 August 2020
The gongti strip to disappear, along with all bars, discos, restaurants and shops in the Workers Stadium area. Some historical facts and data. I announced the dramatic changes for my beloved Gongti Strip, the dramatic disappearance of many beloved nightlife spots, some history of the Workers Stadium like the WHAM concert!

New Beijing Workers Stadium – 23 August 2020
Few seem to be aware we will have a new Beijing Workers Stadium, expected to be delivered by December 2022. See here the first details of what to expect!

Beijing Gongti demolition – 23 September 2020
A latest update on the closing of Legend Beer, Thai Laburnum and others in the Gongti area. A last look of Legend Beer.

2020 is a tough year – 7 October 2020
A tough year for many businesses in Beijing, too many to mention. Some are the victim of the wave of destruction, for the other it is the impact of COVID-19.
Sadly since then it got much much worse. The old “Gongti Strip” is now dead. Sad.

The old stadium

As posted earlier, the whole area around gongti has lost so many nice restaurants and bars. Legend, The Den, and also Tairyo (Korean style) from where you had a nice view on the old stadium.

See some pictures of the old stadium. The statues have been removed and stored at the west gate of the Worker’s Gymnasium, they will be put back later.

The demolition of the stadium and many surrounding buildings is now pretty much done

See the dates of the progress.

The history of concerts and other events

I reported earlier about the WHAM concert.
Here a compilation of press articles about the many concerts, the interview with me and background of WHAM. See the official program.

I was also at the concert of Bob Dylan – Workers Gymnasium, April 6, 2011.
Not mentioned here is the impressive AIDA opera staged in the Stadium on 28 September 2003, see here:

I need to write about that, found back the pics.

Old China Hands lunch 2 September

Good turnout

Our Old China Hands lunch 2 September brought together 32 of our members. We also welcomed the baby of OCH Josh. As always, all happy chatting and enjoying the good food.

The next lunch is planned for Friday 7 October, due to the October 1 holiday week.

And more about our famous OCH

Raja is competing with our star Mark for media exposure.
See here his latest in English through Beijing Review.

But beating all is Renaat Morel. I guess he has like an interview every two weeks…
On 10 September at 10 pm we all watched live BRTV showing a program about the GuoAn soccer club and its long relation with Morel’s Restaurant. GuoAn normally uses Worker’s Stadium as its base and should return there once the new stadium is opening, I guess early next year.

I don’t have the link for you to watch but see some screenshots while we watched on the iPad. And of course the famous candle…

Beijing Worker’s Stadium taking shape

Impressive progress

Beijing Worker’s Stadium taking shape, this time one can see the outside perimeter and the rooftop being constructed.

See here earlier posts of what is going on in our gongti area:

Beijing Gongti demolition

New Beijing Workers Stadium

Gongti strip to disappear

See pictures taken 30 October and 18 November 2021.

The construction area is immense and as said earlier, other arenas and buildings are coming up besides the main stadium.
The area also has many container buildings to house the dormitories and offices for the construction companies.
Leaving across the street I must say we have no any problems and have not been hindered by the huge construction, despite a continuous flow of concrete mixers and other heavy trucks. Many start delivering in the late evening and it is all pretty efficiently organized.

What we can expect

See here how the stadium looked around 1959, seen from the south. The whole area around it has changed dramatically. And a few pictures of what we can expect.

Here also an article in Chinese with Google translation about the new stadium.

211126 Newgongti

“In 2023, the new sports club will host the opening and closing ceremonies and finals of the Asian Cup.”
I keep you posted of the progress, thanks to a Dutch lady who makes the panoramic pics from her apartment.

2020 is a tough year

My Jenny Lou is closed

2020 is a tough year for many businesses in Beijing, too many to mention. Some are simply the victim of the wave of destruction in Beijing, in particular in my gongti area (Worker’s Stadium), for others it is the impact of COVID-19.

My favorite Jenny Lou decided to close, it was in front of Buona Bocca and Mala Bocca (Xindong Lu, the small street of Jiamei Dental), see how it looked like in February 2020. Reason: too few foreign customers… as many cannot be back.

Another victim is Cafe de la Poste, was in operation for some 15 years.

Gongti destruction

As posted earlier, most within the gongti area is to be razed.

See here an update with the buildings on the north side being demolished, the coffeeshop also marked “to destroy”, Superlife biting the dust and our beloved Legend Beer and Laburnum Thai Restaurant being smashed to pieces. The whole gongti area is becoming very flat…

See the date of the picture.
It seems some buildings will be spared (IQIYI and the “hotel”) but who knows… Also the fate of (formerly called) Gongti Yibai (Gongti 100 see how it was originally remains unclear but Club One Third is still making a mess of the traffic in the street till early morning hours.


Beijing Gongti demolition

chai chai

Beijing Gongti demolition now in full progress, the chai signs are everywhere, “chai” meaning “to destroy”…
See earlier post:
New Beijing Workers Stadium

Legend Beer and the Thai restaurant Laburnum had some illusions they could stick it out but on 15 September they were forced to close.

The Gongti Strip has a long and complicated history. I hope to post more about it later.
Many venues opened and closed, in succession. One was “TrueColor” that was frequented by many foreign and Chinese models. Rumors say they were selling lots of champagne but never paid the supplier. It then “closed” and changed to strange new venues (Superlife, Nuku Nuku, whatever).

See an ad of TrueColor and more about the Worker’s Stadium demolition, now complete.

Legend Beer closed

On 15 September, it was closed. Message of our friend Adam:
Dear Friends from all over the world, since the opening of Legend on June 10, 2016, we have been operating for four years, three months and four days together, a total of 51 months and 4 days, 1555 days and nights. We cherish the unforgettable scenes of laughter and joy Legend has brought us all. Let it be known legend was unwilling to end its operations, but alas we were forced to close. For now, we have to say goodbye to all our friends, however, goodbye is never a real farewell, rather a temporarily leave. Be prepared for the next stop, our new location will soon run. See you at the next Legend!

Last pics of Legend Beer

Actually I visited Legend Beer one day before the opening, to have a look and “inspection”.
As far as I understand they have chosen a new location in Guomao area; another one pretty close to the old one is under consideration. Can’t say more.

On 11 September I had my goodbye, as I knew what would happen… Some pics for the memory. The venue was frequented by many pretty girls, Chinese and foreigners.
All sad as they spent big money on renovations in the past twelve months.

And a small clip of the outside area:


Beijing Gongti demolition not that clear

Going around one can see most venues are marked “to destroy”, even Dadong Peking Duck. Strangely some are not marked yet, like the IQIYI building and the small eatery in front of it. And Peking Chamber (“Michelin 2020”) and its neighbors.
As said, the building “Gongti Yibai” is still in operation and the disco One Third is going full blast till the early mornings. Heaven Supermarket has already opened a new venue corner of Gongti Bei Lu, Xindong Lu.

Some pics from around the Gongti area, west, north, east sides.