Now Chinese basketball fans can watch their favorite players like Yao Ming and Yi Lianjian in action at the recently complete Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium.
The Wukesong Indoor Stadium is seen in this photo taken on January 11, 2008 after the construction work of the Olympic basketball venue was completed. [Xinhua]
Located in the west of Beijing in Wukesong, the gym will host the qualifying matches and the finals of the Beijing Olympic basketball events in August.
On the outside, the building looks like a giant gold bar. But when visitors approach the venue, they can see individual yellow-colored columns that are wavy. It gives people the feeling of movement and optimism.
The gym covers an area of 63,000 square meters and can accommodate 18,000 spectators. Construction on the gym took two years and ten months to finish.
Gu Yonghui, an architect with Beijing Architecture Research Institute which designed the gym, told the media the venue embodies the “Humanistic, Hi-tech, Green Olympics” which are the themes of this year’s Olympics.
“There are four entrances for the public to walk into the match site directly on the first floor and special zones for the disabled. The chairs are designed make it comfortable for viewers to sit for a long time,” Gu added.
A solar energy and rainfall collection recycling systems are used in this gym, according to the architect. “The high-definition LED display system above the middle of the basketball court was imported to meet NBA standards,” Gu explained. “That way audiences can enjoy NBA-level matches here so they won’t have to go to United States.”
This gym will be tested for the international female basketball invitation matches from May 19-20, said Hu Jiashi, chief of the Basketball Center of General Administration of Sport. “Our national basketball teams will familiarize themselves with this site to get ready for the Olympic matches.”