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Asian Games venues reopen as public facilities

China Daily| Updated: October 16, 2023 L M S


The Xiaoshan Sports Center Venue Cluster. [Photo/VCG]

Despite the 19th Asian Games only drawing to a close last Sunday, some of the venues have already opened to the public in Hangzhou, host city of the sports extravaganza and capital of Zhejiang province.

A notice issued by the Xiaoshan District Culture, Tourism and Sports Development and Service Center on Monday said that now that the Xiaoshan Sports Center Venue Cluster has hosted the soccer and weightlifting events, the Sports Center Stadium, the tennis court and the Smart Asian Games Experience Space will be opened to the public.

A similar notice issued earlier by Zhejiang University said that its gymnasium at the Zijingang campus, where some of the Games' basketball matches were held, would be available to students, faculty and staff members from Oct 9.

On Tuesday, residents could be seen at the Shangcheng Sports Center Stadium jogging, playing tennis and working out. The 14-year-old venue hosted eight soccer matches during the Games.

To prepare for the Games, the stadium was upgraded, including its lights, the field, the athletes' lounge and news conference room, said Yao Zhongping, an official in charge of the stadium's facilities.

"The upgrading efforts have provided a more comfortable environment for post-Games public fitness," he said.

"Our idea was that venue construction was for the events during the Games and for the city after the Games," said Chen Weiqiang, Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee executive secretary-general.

Venues in co-host cities such as Shaoxing and Jinhua have also reopened to the public, a few of which will be endowed with even more functions.

The Shaoxing Keqiao Yangshan Sport Climbing Center will be turned into an international rock-climbing theme park able to host top-level competitions, training, research trips and leisure tourism, according to Chen Yuefang, spokesperson for the center.

A total of 56 competition venues were involved in the 19th Asian Games, covering Hangzhou and the other five co-host cities of Ningbo, Wenzhou, Huzhou, Shaoxing and Jinhua.

Of the venues, only 12 were newly built and whose post-competition use had already been planned when they were under construction.

At a news conference held last Friday, the organizing committee revealed that for the 56 venues, 19 will be opened to the public as fitness venues, 21 will be accessible at a fee lower than the market price, eight will become training bases for professional teams and the remaining eight university venues will be returned to their respective institutions.