So there have been any number of articles in the news about the Bird’s Nest stadium which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing. Unable to get a local football club to sign a deal, the stadium has gone virtually unused and empty since the end of the 2008 games. Currently the stadium is hosting a winter snow amusement park for the winter season, and charging tourists $7 to enter the stadium and go into the souvenir shop. The China Daily has reported recently, that there are talks being held about building a luxury hotel INSIDE of the Bird’s Nest. That’s right, the seats from the North Side of the stadium will possibly be removed if the deal goes through, and replaced with around 80 hotel suites. The stadium is also pushing forward to try and bring in other commercial shops and top class restaurants to try and bring more business to the stadium.
The Bird’s Nest, however, will still continue to remain a stadium, with two high profile games set for later this year. On the anniversary of the Olympics, Real Madrid is set to take on a local Chinese soccer club. In September, Argentina and Portugal are slated to play in a friendly. It’ll be curious to see if they can start bringing more business to the stadium.
Another “great” Olympic venue from Beijing 2008 was the Water Cube, the Olympic Swimming Center where Michael Phelps raced his way into the record books. Like the Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube was having trouble finding events to host. I believe the Water Cube has held an indoor light show with concert, and a Russian performance of Swan Lake. It was recently announced that the Water Cube will be remodeled into a water amusement park. The Chinese government spent about $170 million (U.S.) to build the Water Cube, and now they will spend another $33 million or so, just to revamp it into something the public can actually use. This actually doesn’t seem to be too bad of an idea to me, if people actually come to the Water Cube and pay to play in the park.