Beijing’s National Stadium known as the Bird’s Nest has not turned out to be a popular legacy of the 2008 Summer Games.
We take you behind the scenes this month with our timely Vancouver Games Blog, an insider perspective on sport medicine and science headlines, talking points, statistical data and emerging trends.
When the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games conclude it is fully expected that the facilities built for the Games such as the Richmond Oval and the Vancouver Olympic Centre in Hillcrest Park will provide lasting legacies that will be well used by the community at large.
An article in today’s L.A. Times details how the Bird’s Nest has become all but an empty nest, hosting just 3 events since the 2008 Summer Games, and now it has been transformed into the “Happy Snow and Ice Season” snow park in an effort to lose it’s white elephant tag:
It’s a long way from Olympic grandeur for the Bird’s Nest, meant to symbolize China’s decades of vast economic growth and status as a new world power.
With a price tag of $450 million, the world’s largest steel structure has been called a potential white elephant, a big, expensive building that no longer serves a purpose. Its maintenance costs are $15 million a year.
Since the Olympics ended, the stadium has hosted an opera, an Italian soccer match and a Jackie Chan concert. Stadium management is also wooing Spanish soccer team Real Madrid to come play a game.
And according to the L.A. Times article the reviews for the snow park are not exactly glowing :
The Bird’s Nest is expensive. Tickets to the snow park are $26. Then visitors use a swipe card to rack up charges for rentals, games and food. They pay at the end.
“I don’t know how much we’ve paid today. It could be as much as my month’s salary,” said Xiaolong’s father, Ma Tianjun.
Ma, who drove an hour to get to the park, said he realized too late how expensive it would be. “Once you board the thieves’ ship, you can only go forward,” he said, using an old Beijing saying.