National Indoor Stadium officials outline fan attendance plans for Beijing 2022

Beijing’s National Indoor Stadium is set to operate at around one-third capacity, but ice hockey games could yet be played behind closed doors at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, according to Chinese state tabloid the Global Times.

Chinese fans are currently set to be able to attend next year’s Winter Olympics after COVID-19 guidelines for the Games were released in September, but ticketing details have yet to be released.

Bao Weihua, epidemic prevention manager of the National Indoor Stadium, told the Global Times that fans who attend the National Indoor Stadium will need to be fully vaccinated, as well as being required to present a negative nucleic acid test result within 48 hours.

Developed for Beijing’s staging of the 2008 Summer Olympics, the National Indoor Stadium is hosting ice hockey competitions at Beijing 2022. After zoning and arranging seating for event-related personnel, about 6,000 seats are expected to be available to the public, the Global Times said.

However, venue operations team member, Lei Ming, said: “The number of seats to be opened depends on the epidemic situation in Beijing and nationwide at the time of the event.”

Lei added that it is expected that baffles will be placed in every other seat between fans to help assist social distancing measures.

Beijing’s ‘Ice Cube’ is set to be at around one-fifth capacity for the 2022 Games, Yang Qiyong, general manager of the venue, said last month.

The venue, more famously known as the Water Cube, was developed to stage aquatics events for Beijing’s staging of the 2008 Games. It has been repurposed to host curling as a 4,600-seat arena for Beijing 2022 and became the first venue ready for the Games when renovations were completed in November 2020.

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