An op-ed on how despite the rise in sporting venues throughout China, the country's sports stadiums remain empty once the lights fade and the games conclude.
There is no question that large, global sporting events can help change the image of a city. Governments use the spectacles as a means to redevelop or invest further in a city’s infrastructure. South Africa proposed a nine billion rand — or about 1.7 billion USD — budget on city infrastructure projects for next year’s World Cup. According to the Beijing Organizing Committee, the 2008 Olympic Games saw about 60 billion USD invested in city-wide infrastructure projects, which included new stadium venues for the sporting events.
China is to play Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic (WBC) on Mar 5, a 16-team tournament created by Major League Baseball and is held every four years. The team suffered three straight losses to Japan, South Korea and Chinese Taipei in the inaugural WBC Pool A games in 2006. But with the help of Jim Lefebvre, the then head coach, the team progressed rapidly and surprised the fans by a win over Chinese Taipei 8-7 in the Beijing Olympic baseball tournament which later won by South Korea.
Team China has been coached by Terry Collins, who had previously managed the Houston Astros, the Anaheim Angels of MLB and the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League, after the Beijing Games. And the country now has two players at the New York Yankees and one at Pittsburgh Pirates of MLB. Zhu Dawei, a promising 20-year-old pitcher, is playing for Saitama Seibu Lions, which crowned the Japan Championship Series in 2008.
That might be possible from 2010. According to a latest Bloomberg article, some non-media companies may bid for the next 3-year Chinese television broadcasting rights to EPL after the contract runs out with WinTV, a pay-per-view channel run by state-owned Guangdong Provincial Television. And where to watch next? CCTV. Below are some excerpts...
This is actually the second cancellation of the NFL China game this year. The 2008 game, which scheduled for August 9 between New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, was called off by NFL this April, with the reason that they wanted to concentrate their "global resources" on next October's regular season game in London.
NFL China has been concentrating on developing grassroots fans in local colleges by staging various events and also marketing themselves on TV and the Internet. Chinese fans can now watch games on CCTV and Shanghai TV, and a live game is also available once a week on Sina.com, a major Chinese web portal.