Long-term plan for Wukesong

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Wukesong Arena, the basketball venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, will host hockey during the 2022 Winter Olympics. XINHUA

Meng Yuan, marketing director of a subsidiary of Bloomage International, which owns Wukesong Arena in Beijing, said the success of the venue, which was constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics, will carry over to the 2022 Winter Games.

After 2008, the stadium took advantage of its Olympic identity to become a venue for many sporting and cultural events, including the NBA and NHL China Games, CBA league contests, and concerts by Chinese and international artists.

The arena highlighted its brand value through a series of events, said Meng, as it can hold nearly 100 events per year. It will host several games at this summer's FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, and will serve as the hockey venue for the 2022 Olympics.

As a partially private venue, Wukesong Arena has a larger say in management than most other state-invested venues, and has adopted a more flexible approach in attracting revenues from naming rights, exclusive partners, private box sales and rental costs.

The audience experience is also crucial to benchmark a high-quality event or show, so top-notch equipment plays a fundamental role at the venue.

The arena boasts a great number of prime hardware facilities, including funnel-shaped display screens, comfortable and spacious seats, high-illumination lighting and a surround-sound stereo system.

To prepare for the 2022 Olympics, the arena will adopt ice-making technology from the Netherlands, which uses the world's most environmentally friendly aluminum and has zero sewage discharge.

The venue's special aluminum floor also saves more than 40 percent energy than traditional models.

"We have saved the organizers cost and time. This is our hardware," Meng said. "We are trying to be more customized for both audiences and organizers. For this reason, many organizers would like to choose us."

Some experts suggest that sports venue operators should not merely rely on events, noting that combining the venue with its intangible assets and surrounding business districts can be the best way forward.

The operators of Wukesong Arena are also establishing a multifaceted business cluster as Bloomage International has created a "commercial street" business model, incorporating several sub-areas such as M Space (a multi-functional medium-sized venue), Hi-Park (a basketball theme park), and Hi-Up (a center for catering and entertainment).

In addition, construction of a winter sports center to the southeast of the arena is well underway, and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. It will serve as a warm-up and training hall for hockey players during the Olympics, and become a training venue after the Games.

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