Three stadiums planned by Guangzhou Evergrande

Chinese Super League champions have launched work on a 100,000-seat arena, but two slightly smaller stadiums may also be built

by AFP
Three stadiums planned by Guangzhou Evergrande
This image was posted during the ground-breaking ceremony of Guangzhou Evergrande's new stadium in Guangzhou in China's southern Guangdong province on April 16, 2020. The new stadium being built by the Chinese champions will cost 12 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) and boast a 100,000 capacity. The club is also considering building two smaller stadiums. Pic: AFP

The wealthy owners of Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande will build two stadiums with capacities of 80,000 each, in addition to the club's new 100,000-seat home.

Chinese Super League (CSL) clubs are building or renovating a clutch of stadiums with the country set to host the newly expanded 2021 FIFA Club World Cup and AFC Asian Cup in 2023.

But the rush on new arenas will also heighten speculation that China is gearing up for a bid to host the World Cup, possibly in 2030.

Evergrande Group, a major property developer, has asked fans to pick their favourite designs for two more new stadiums.

"Evergrande plans to build two additional 80,000-seat football fields and invites everyone to recommend two of the six preliminary plans," Guangzhou Evergrande's owners said on social media.

The statement did not give any further information such as where in China or when the stadiums would be built.

CSL champions Guangzhou Evergrande, coached by Italian World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro, began work Thursday on their eye-catching new home. 

Costing 12 billion yuan ($1.7 billion), it will be bigger than Barcelona's famous Camp Nou and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2022.

Evergrande Group's founder is the billionaire Xu Jiayin, one of the richest men in China.