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National Stadium

National Stadium

The Beijing National Stadium, colloquially known as the Bird's Nest, was the main track and field stadium for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and Paralympics. It also hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. It is located at the Olympic Green and is the largest steel structure in the world.

In 2002 Government officials engaged architects worldwide in a design competition. The Swiss corporation Herzog & de Meuron collaborated with ArupSport and China Architecture Design and Research Group led by Chief Architect Li Xinggang, and won the bidding. They created the bird’s nest idea in order to use steel beams to disguise the roof supports.

The stadium seated as many as 110,000 spectators during the Olympics. Shaped like a bird’s nest, the stadium is 330 meters long, 220 meters wide and 69.2 meters tall. The 258,000 square meter (gross floor area) stadium was built with 36 km of unwrapped steel, with a combined weight of 45,000 tons. The stadium cost up to 3.1 billion yuan (453,846,708.57 USD/ 319,068,507.52 EUR). The ground was broken in December 2003, and construction started in March 2004 and completed in June 2008.

After the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the National Stadium was open to tourists. A number of major events are still held there, ranging from sport to theatrical performance. The Stadium also receives many visitors who come to see this remarkable building, maybe relive some Olympic memories, and speculate on its future.