POSTED: June 18th 2015
NewsUpdate

Olympics: Beijing 2008 venues set a sustainable standard for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games bid

China National Convention Center (CNCC) © Beijing 2022
China National Convention Center (CNCC) © Beijing 2022

Wukesong MasterCard Center © Beijing 2022
Wukesong MasterCard Center © Beijing 2022

MARISSA FLANDERS (USA) / Sports Features Communications

Part II

(SFC) The foundation of the Beijing 2022 bid has been to host an economic, athlete-centered, and sustainable Winter Olympics. These concepts had already been in motion, even before Beijing made the decision to bid for the 2022 Games, due to the post-2008 Games legacies of four iconic venues. Such venues as the National Stadium (also known as the Bird's Nest), Wukesong MasterCard Center, the China National Convention Center (CNCC), and the National Aquatics Center (also known as the Water Cube) are prime examples of these concepts that are in motion. These venues have grown and developed into the "go-to" multi-purpose arenas in which all the biggest events in Beijing are held. Thus, setting a new standard of sustainability for the Olympic Movement's future and fulfilling the principles of Olympic Agenda 2020.

All four venues share three common threads between them, since the 2008 Olympic Games. First, each venue has some long-term and strategic partnerships that provide consistent use of the sites, putting them in line with Beijing 2022 and Olympic Agenda 2020's fundamental concept of sustainability. Secondly, a diverse array of international events, both athlete, and non-athlete have been hosted at the venues. These events have brought forth a vast pool of experienced management and relevant expertise, which can be easily used for the Beijing 2022 Games. Lastly, with the increasing interest in winter sports in not only Beijing, but all of China, these venues have responded by hosting more winter-sports related events.

Wukesong MasterCard Center (formerly known as Beijing Wukesong Culture and Sports Center)

During the 2008 Olympic Summer Game, the Wukesong MasterCard Center hosted all the basketball events. Jerry Han, General Manager of the Wukesong MasterCard Center, commented on the "landmark" five-year contract, which was signed between MasterCard and the venue owners Bloomage International Investment Group. On March 30, 2015, the center celebrated its 10th Anniversary and took a look back at their history. The history of being the first commercially rebranded 2008 Olympic venue and their successful partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA). The NBA has hosted consistent events of the NBA Global Games.

Han stated, "With supporting consultancy of [leading sport and entertainment presenter] AEG and the NBA, we have managed to turn this venue into one of the leading multi-function arenas in China for concerts, basketball, ice sports, conferences, and launch events with a capacity of 18,000."

In 2013, the Wukesong MasterCard Center hosted over 70 large-scale events, which include top international acts like Elton John and Beyoncé. Also, the recent China Basketball Association (CBA) champions, the Beijing Ducks, announced that next season they will call the center their home.

In addition, the venue opened the largest rink in Asia with its "Wukesong Ice World." The rink is a 15,000 total square meters of ice, which is anchored by an 18,000 square meters panoramic ice rink. On the rink's opening day, December 11, 2014, met their capacity of 900 skaters within only a few hours. The venue has plays repeat host to the Artistry on Ice figure skating show.  

China National Convention Center (CNCC)

For the 2008 Olympic Summer Games, the CNCC was the host of the Main Press Center (MPC) and the International Broadcast Center (IBC), along with all the bowling and fencing events. It was the first Beijing 2008 venue to be put to post-Games use and hosts over 800 conferences per year on average.

General Manager of CNCC, Liu Haiying expressed, "Where the world's top fencers and bowlers once competed in the Olympic Games, there are now conventions with thousands in attendance."

Liu Haiying added, "Where the IBC once stood, there are now expositions on both national and international scales."

As early as 2010, the venue generated a profit that paid off its entire 2008 Olympics' budget, including interest.

The venue is in high demand for reservation space. The convention spaces are booked for the next five years, event approaching the possible dates for the 2022 Games, and enjoys an 86% rental rate per year. Along with the current staff of 1,300, which is around a fifth worked for Beijing 2008 at the MPC and IBC, have exported its knowledge of projects all over China, like Huairou County in Beijing, Nanchang, Hangzhou, and Zhuhai. Such places they are currently helping to prepare the city for next year's G20 summit.   

Liu said, "These [projects and staff] are all Olympic legacies and beneficiaries of lessons learned in 2008."

If Beijing is chosen as the host city for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Wukesong MasterCard Center will host all women's ice hockey events and the CNCC will resume its role as host of the Main Media Center.

** MARISSA FLANDERS is a graduate of Saint Leo University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Business. She has over four years of writing experience and has a real passion for ice hockey following the Pittsburgh Penguins on her blog www.thepenshockeyshow.com.


Keywords · Beijing 2008 · Beijing 2022 · Olympic · Paralympic · Olympic bidding


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