Although it will only cater for the preliminary matches of the Olympic soccer competition, the Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium will be as good as any venue in the world, officials said last weekend.
"(It) has been built in line with the standards of the most advanced stadiums in the world," said Zhu Xiaofang, deputy director of the construction department of Tianjin Sports Bureau. He made the remark on the occasion of the 100-day countdown to the opening of the FIFA Women's World Cup, which China will host in September.
"Although we invested less money than other advanced stadiums in the world, ours will be of the same quality," he said.
Using water as its theme, the stadium is structed to resemble a drop of drew, with an outer wall made of emerald-colored glass.
The project is expected to become a sports landscape circled by man-made lakes.
Located in the southwest of Tianjin, the center occupies 560,000 square meters to include sport facilities, a museum and a golf drive range. The soccer venue can seat 60,000 people.
"The stadium is designed to be human-oriented, for example the spaces between clusters of seats are convenient for people to move around in, and the number of toilets are calculated according to the box-office rate," he said.
Work on the main structure began in August 2003 and is already finished, leaving only the flooring of the track to be laid. The whole project, which cost 1.5 billion yuan ($185 million), is scheduled for completion by the end of this month.
The stadium is going to host over 10 preliminary soccer matches during the Beijing Games in 2008.
The area is scheduled to be turned into a business, recreation and lifestyle complex after the Games.