Beijing’s Workers’ Stadium has been demolished this week as part of plans to rebuild the 60-year-old venue.

The stadium had a capacity of 66,000 and served as the main venue for the 1990 edition of the Asian Games multi-sport event. Over the years it has staged major music concerts and football matches, and hosted fixtures at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The venue is set to be rebuilt and it is hoped the new stadium will be completed by December 2022. The rebuild will form part of China’s plans to build its stadium infrastructure ahead of a possible bid for a future edition of football’s FIFA World Cup.

China will host football’s Asian Cup in 2023, and the country pledged to build new stadia in seven of the 12 planned host cities after it was awarded hosting rights in June last year. Beijing was named as one of the proposed host cities and the Workers’ Stadium is set to stage matches at the tournament.

China has also proposed Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou, Tianjin, Wuhan and Xi’an as host cities for the Asian Cup.

Minor renovation work is planned for Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ National Stadium, along with the Tianjin Olympic Centre Stadium, Hangzhou Olympic Sports Expo Centre Main Stadium, Changsha’s Helong Sports Centre Stadium and Guangzhou Tianhe Sports Centre Stadium.

China hosted the Asian Cup for the first and only time back in 2004, when the Workers’ Stadium staged the final as the host nation lost 3-1 to Japan.

The Workers’ Stadium was built in 1959 and served as one of the ‘Ten Great Buildings’ constructed in Beijing to coincide with the 10th anniversary of communist China.

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