The sports culture had been kick started in China when Beijing had won the bid to host the Olympic Games. Now the government is leveraging games and sports to bring development to regions that are relatively underdeveloped. Huainan city in East China’s Anhui province has been selected for a major investment of 1.8 billion yuan in a sports complex and park with the main stadium shaped as an American football, a volleyball-shaped natatorium, a football-shaped gym stadium and a basketball-shaped stadium.
The highlight of the large sports complex will be a 150 meter tall hotel designed in the shape of a ping-pong racket. Jin Chang, director with Huainan Municipal Bureau of Sports is convinced that the ping pong racket has the perfect architectural shape for a hotel. Mei Jikui, a renowned architect for sports structures is in-charge of the design aspect of the various buildings and stadiums. The ping pong building will have three parts. The top is being designed for visitors and sightseeing. The mid section of the building will house guest rooms and the lower floors will have facilities for conferences.
The planned Olympic park will be spread in an area of 67 hectares. The park will be completed in three phases over a period of five years. The sports bureau has signed an agreement with China Sports Industry Group to make the park the sports hub for the region. Various tournaments and international sports events will be held in these stadiums over the coming twenty years. The city of Huainan has a population of 2.4 million and the local government is funding the project to make it an important destination on the sports map of the country.