“Bird's Nest", Preparing for a New Flight
——National Stadium Focuses on Solving the Problem on Post-game Utilization
After the Beijing Olympic Games, the National Stadium- "Bird's Nest" has become a must-see place in Beijing for tourists, especially for foreign tourists. How to effectively utilize the "Bird's Nest" after the games? How to make the venue a legacy rather than a burden? In order to figure out solutions to these problems, Beijing Municipal Committee, Beijing municipal government, and National Stadium Co., Ltd. conducted comprehensive exploration and innovation in operation mode, so as to resolve the global problem on the use of Olympic venues after the games.
Although it hasn’t snowed in Beijing since last winter, the "Bird's Nest" has become the world of ice and snow already. It is reported that more than 100,000 visitors have been attracted in the first half “Happy Snow Season in Bird's Nest”. The official of National Stadium Co., Ltd. said that "This project has enabled the most effective use of “Bird's Nest” in low winter season, and it also offset the operating costs of the Bird's Nest”.
Moreover, there are a lot of successful ideas and methods on the operation of "Bird's Nest" after the games. One of the most important aspects is the use of the venue, high-end events and large-scale performances have been comprehensively introduced in the "Bird's Nest", which cultivates the cultural and sports market of China. As of now, a total of 28 events have been held in the "Bird's Nest", attracting nearly 1.90 million person-times with the effective utilization of the venue surpassing 50%. Meanwhile, the characterized commercial development planning has been actively planned. At present, more than 500 kinds of licensed products on the "Bird's Nest" have been developed, winning the revenue of more than 8 million Yuan, and the overall positioning and planning over the 40,000 million square meters of commercial space have been conducted. Particularly important, the "Bird's Nest" has shouldered social responsibilities in the market operation. Over the past year, the venue has provided 4 million free or discounted visiting chances to the elderly, children, soldiers, and the disabled, and has accommodated the planning and performance of more than 50 public and welfare activities.
Of course, the "Bird's Nest" has suffered difficulties in operation after the games. As time goes by, the passion of domestic tourists in visiting the venue has declined; a large number of tourists have been diverted to other scenic spots, which led to the decline of revenue of the "Bird's Nest". And the fully mature sports market has not been formed in China, the huge operating costs and heavy bank loans will bring greater operational pressures and difficulties to the "Bird's Nest".
It is learned that the "Bird's Nest" has to pay about 60 million Yuan interest on bank loans, and about 40 million Yuan sales tax, property tax and land use tax and other taxes, and 108.2 million Yuan provision for depreciation of fixed assets. Such huge financial burden has severely restricted the operations of the "Bird's Nest". In addition, the internal parking space within the "Bird's Nest" is limited, and cannot be open to the public, and the inconvenient traffic directly impacts the passengers. The security costs of up to a million RMB discourage the enterprises who are willing to hold activities at the "Bird's Nest"; and good business facilities haven’t been established around the "Bird's Nest". All of these have been the problems to be solved urgently after the games.
The "Bird's Nest", a stadium operated as an enterprise, requires the support and help of the government in terms of investment and financing channels, tax concessions, activities introduction, project resources, financial support and other aspects. Beijing Municipal Government established the management coordination team for guiding the operation and maintenance of the "Bird's Nest" as early as August 2009, and the relevant tax and special support are being implemented in a step by step manner.
It is introduced that the "Bird's Nest" in the future will be used for holding major sports events of significant influence and high grade as well as high quality cultural arts performances. In addition, the steel structure tour, the torch exhibition center, the Olympic champion wall, Olympic Museum and other new contents will be added in the "Bird's Nest", and the supporting facilities will be gradually improved, so as to build the "Bird's Nest" into a large international sports and cultural center integrating sports, culture, tourism, exhibition, accommodation, restaurants, and retails.
(Source: People's Daily)