There was talk last summer that the baseball facility built for the Olympics would help spur development of baseball in China, maybe even one day helping to make the land of billions a real source of talent for the bigs. Now it seems like the only development it will spur is that of an Orange Julius, a Gap, and an Auntie Annie’s pretzel joint:
Hopes that Beijing’s Olympic baseball venue would be preserved for the future development of the sport in China have been dashed as the stadium’s developer revealed it would be dismantled and replaced by a shopping mall.
The 15,000-seat Wukesong Sports Center baseball field, listed by Olympic organisers as a temporary venue even before the Games were held in August, had become the first venue slated for the wrecking ball, the Beijing News said on Monday.
“Our preliminary plan is to supply Beijing residents with a leisure centre combined with shopping, culture, sports and entertainment,” Guo Jinjiao, deputy manager of the development company, told the paper.
The 200 million yuan ($29 million) stadium played host to a Major League Baseball exhibition game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres last March.
Hey, can’t blame them. According to the article, the place has generated no income. Given the state of the global economy, I don’t think there would be much opposition to them bulldozing Wrigley Field, the Hall of Fame, and Mickey Mantle’s restaurant right now if they promised some jobs out of the deal.