BEIJING, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- The multi-purpose Beijing Workers' Stadium, built in 1959 to mark the 10th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, has turned into an international standard professional football stadium.
The two-year renovation of the stadium has been completed, said Ma Xisheng, an official from Beijing Major Projects Construction Headquarters Office, on Friday.
"The brand-new stadium will welcome the Beijing Guoan FC back to its home field within the year after the commercial facilities around are completed," said Li Xin, the project manager of Beijing Construction Engineering Group.
After the renovation, the stadium is able to run games under extreme weather conditions, and the position of the closest stands will be only 8.5 meters away from the pitch after the removal of the runway. In addition, the number of seats for the audience will be increased to nearly 68,000.
Around the new stadium, there will be an urban sports park of 100,000 square meters and a lake area of 30,000 square meters. The park will provide a variety of sports facilities, such as environmentally friendly fitness tracks.
Since 1959, the stadium has hosted a series of major events, witnessed China's sports development, and worked as the home stadium of Beijing Guoan FC for a long time.
According to Ma, the design concept of the new stadium is a "traditional appearance, modern venue" which meets the standards for professional football required by FIFA.
The original oval shape, exterior facade, and characteristic features of the stadium are kept, and some important elements such as sculptures and decorations, are preserved and restored. ■