Market Intelligence
Design and Construction China

China Sports Facility Design and Construction

China’s sports industry is developing rapidly and encompasses everything from sports stadiums and major event management to personal fitness. In 2018, there were over 2 million sports venues in China. So far this year, the China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has invested $450 million in public sports projects. There is strong demand for green and smart sports facilities as significant government investment is flowing into the sector, while existing facilities face problems such as operational inefficiencies, inadequate service provision and low utilization levels.


The number of sports venues in China remains relatively small compared to the country’s population. Most stadiums are government-owned with a low level of commercialization. Many existing large-scale sports facilities are outdated and in urgent need of upgrading.

Local Chinese governments recognize the tremendous tax revenue opportunities of the industry and lament the many failed stadiums and struggling events. The NDRC’s investments are expected to alleviate the adverse impact of COVID-19 on the sports industry, boost confidence in the industry and promote the development of national fitness activities.

China has set specific targets for the development of urban sports. For example, Shanghai has proposed to build a “sports city” by 2025, and Chengdu also plans to develop a “sports city.” Large events to be held in the coming years are listed below. New stadiums have been built or are in development to host these events.

Year Games Host City
2021 The 14th National Games of PRC Xi’an
2021 FISU Summer World University Games Chengdu
2021 FIFA Club World Cup Shanghai, Tainjin, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Shenyang, Jinan, Hangzhou, Dalian
2022 The Olympic Winter Games &Paralympic Games Beijing, Zhangiakou
2022 The Asian Games Hangzhou
2023 AFC Asian Cup 2023 Beijing, Tainjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Dalian, Qingdao, Xiamen and Suzhou
2023 The 3rd National Youth Games Guangxi Province
2023 The 12th National Minority Traditional Sports Games Hainan Province

The vast majority (98%) of China Sports Venue Association members who participated in a survey on the effects of the pandemic on their business are confident in the development of China’s sports industry. The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 boosted domestic interest in sports and exercise. Upon reopening to the public, sports facilities experienced increased demand from those looking to exercise, as they remain more popular than home fitness alternatives.


Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, more than 120 large-scale sports events nationwide have been cancelled or postponed since the end of January 2020. Some construction plans for new stadiums were replaced by plans to renovate existing ones because of budget concerns and time constraints.

U.S. design companies must partner with local design institutes to be qualified to access procurement opportunities.

The sports facilities sector is also highly competitive. Chinese companies are developing rapidly, and competitive third-country firms have also entered the market.

Best Prospects:

Design services:

· Sports facility design service to maintain high utilization and sustainability

· Design service to integrate the newly required emergency and epidemic prevention measures

Construction materials:

· Reusable construction materials

· Green-building decoration materials

Equipment and technologies:

· High-end sports specialty equipment

· Sports training systems and equipment

· Fitness courses, technology and apps

· Supporting facilities specialized for sports

· Smart devices to reduce operating costs


· Partnerships introducing U.S. brands, program design and athletic training expertise


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Major Players & Key Organizations:

· General Administration of Sport of China (and its counterparts at the provincial and municipal levels) · China Sports Venue Association · China Sporting Goods Federation

Major Trade Shows: China Sport Show China Sports Culture Expo & China Sports Tourism Expo