Beijing was the host city of the 2008 summer Olympics. We probably all remember Michael Phelps and his 8 gold medals won in the pool of the Water Cube (officially known as the Beijing National Aquatics Center). Opposite to the Water Cube sits the Bird’s Nest, or as it is officially called, the Beijing National Stadium.
It is the stadium where all the track and field and athletics events took place, as well as the opening and closing ceremony, among other things. Construction started in December 2003, and 428 millions US$ later, it was ready for opening on June 28, 2008.
Like many other Olympic installations, Beijing’s Bird’s Nest seems to be struggling finding a second life. While I’ve read that the stadium is still profitable thanks to the 20-30 thousand visitors per day, there isn’t much going on there. It holds a few events now and then, but that’s about it.
When I visited it in 2010, there were many other visitors, but the stadium and the surroundings are so big that it looked almost empty. From what I am reading, there are (or were, I’m not sure) plans to develop a shopping complex in that area. I’m not sure if the project took life or not.
Nonetheless, the stadium is quite beautiful, especially at night. On one side, you have the red and orange Bird’s Nest, and on the other, the blue Water Cube.
Have you been to the stadium recently? How is it nowadays?