Major new stadium and esports arena planned for China


AFL Architects has been commissioned to design major new sports and leisure facilities for the city of Rizhao in Eastern China. The designs for three sites across the city are part of a larger masterplan that encompasses a 12,000-capacity stadium, an esports arena, a multi-sport venue, and hotel/retail developments.

Early renderings of the project have been released and plans also include for academy accommodation, community spaces, and professional training facilities.

The esport arena will be the first in the region, with approximately 3,000 – 4,000 capacity, and will be AFL’s first esport arena. Esports is the fastest growing sport across much of the world. Its diverse range of games and inclusive nature creates a unique set of challenges, as does the game’s rapid growth in China.

“We are thrilled to further develop our relationship with Kehua Sport on this major new series of sports facilities. The e-sports arena, in particular, is an exciting and challenging commission. E-sport fans demand the same exceptional atmosphere as those following any sport, and this commission follows intensive research and development by our architects to design bespoke arenas for this growing market,” said Phil Osborne, director, AFL Architects.

This project is part of a major drive for elite and community sports facilities across the country, and is also a further expansion into China for AFL Architects. Working directly with a commercial JV client and partnering with the Kehua Sport organization, this will be AFL’s third commission with Kehua Sport and sixth in the country.

Designs for the masterplan have started immediately, with a view to site works commencing in Spring 2020.

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at print and digital magazines and websites around the world covering everything from lifestyle to sport, technology, motoring, and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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