Hongkou Football Stadium is 33,060 capacity dedicated soccer stadium, located in the Hongkou District of the large city of Shanghai. Originally built as a multi-purpose sports arena, in 1999 the 46 year old Hongkou Stadium was replaced by the current stadium.
Stadium Guide by Football Tripper
Hongkou Stadium first opened in 1955, and like the rest of the municipally owned stadiums in China, it was envisioned as a multi-purpose sports stadium. Consisting of a grass field surrounded by an athletics track built to Olympic specifications, the first iteration of Hongkou stadium was very much a classic athletics stadium.
By the 1990s the facilities at Hongkou Stadium were largely out of date, and thus the local government of Shanghai opted to construct a new state-of-the-art arena known as the Shanghai Stadium. After opening in 1997 this paved the way for Hongkou to be reconfigured two years later as China’s first dedicated football stadium.
Although it has yet to host matches of the men’s Chinese National Team, Hongkou Stadium was one of five stadiums used to host matches of the 2007 Women’s World Cup. Despite being the smallest in capacity Hongkou Stadium was actually chosen ahead of Yellow Dragon and Tianjin Olympic to host the final between Germany and Brazil which is certainly testament to the quality of the stadium.
The resident side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua F.C known as “The Blue Devils” have twice qualified for the AFC Champions League since 2009 where they entertained the likes of Sydney FC, Kashima Antlers and Suwon Bluewings. It would probably be fair to say that this is the highest level of football currently hosted at Hongkou.
Although one would suspect that transfers are usually financially motivated, Australian Soccer Icon Tim Cahill’s move from New York Red Bulls to Shanghai Shenua may well have been influenced by the quality of Hongkou Football Stadium. It is arguably one of the finest in the Chinese Super League.