Following successive globally influential sports events such as the Olympic Games, Asian Games, Formula 1, ATP Masters 1000 in China’s first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, many emerging and fast-growing cities in China also hope to improve their international popularity and reputation through sports. This year, Chengdu has taken “building the World City of Sports Events” as its development goal. Thus, it is predicted that an investment of RMB 26.08 billion will be made to build the Tianfu Olympic Sports City in the Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone as the basis to introduce and host major sports events.
Located at the eastern area of the Hi-tech Zone in the southeast part of Chengdu, Tianfu Olympic Sports City will cover an area of 86 square kilometers. In the future, it will be built into a large-scale sports complex integrating three sectors, i.e. “mountain sports area, aquatic sports area, and core area” and it will meet the demands of hosting Olympic Games in the long-term.
This March, the infrastructure of Tianfu Olympic Sports City officially started. In June, Chengdu formally launched the international consulting on conceptual masterplan and urban design of Tianfu Olympic Sports City, which attracted 70 design teams consisting of 104 global famous organizations. The third phase of evaluation meetings closed recently and three international top design teams are the finalists competing for the final design of the core area of Tianfu Olympic Sports City. Among them, Sasaki Associates, Inc. participated in the planning and design of Beijing Olympic Games, and AECOM Ltd. once took the position of overall planning of London 2012 Olympic Games and Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
Chengdu has always been known for its unique gourmet and as the hometown of giant pandas. However, Chengdu Hi-tech Zone, where Tianfu Olympic Sports City is located, represents another side of this ancient city in addition to its time-honored tradition. In recent years, it has held countless international conferences and exhibitions including a General Assembly Session of the World Tourism Organization and the Chengdu Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair with great success. Moreover, it has become the permanent venue of EU-China Business and Technology Cooperation Fair and the second international airport of the city, Tianfu International Airport, is being built there. Therefore, the construction of Tianfu Olympic Sports City will undoubtedly add another brand new international “sports name card” for Chengdu.
In recent years, more and more international sports competitions have thrown the “olive branch” to this city in southwest China. In 2017, Chengdu hosted 19 international events in total, attracting 24,992 players from 49 countries and regions across the world. In 2018, there were 21 introduced international sports competitions in Chengdu. The program broadcasting such as World Sports Dance Festival and Chengdu International Marathon covered more than 100 million viewers. It has ascended to one of 38 ATP 250 World Tour Cities. There’s no doubt that building a world city of sports events will intensify the international influence of this city in southwest China.