Zhengzhou Hanghai Stadium or simply just Hanghai Stadium is a 29,860 capacity multi-purpose sports arena located in the Eastern province of Henan in the city of Zhengzhou.
Stadium Guide by Football Tripper
Zhengzhou Hanghai Stadium first opened in 2002, and was conceived as a multi-purpose sports arena capable of seating 29,860 spectators. The name translates roughly either into Marine or Nautical Stadium although based on the location within Zhengzhou there are no obvious clues as to where the name comes from.
Predominantly used to host matches of local local Chinese Super League side Henan Jianye, the club announced on 29th December 2009 that they had purchased the stadium. A rare move in China where stadiums are usually municipally owned, Henan Jianye’s acquisition of Hanghai Stadium is the first of its kind in Chinese Football and perhaps indicative of the state’s relaxing attitude to privatisation.
With the precedent of club owned stadiums now set, the move could now pave the way for other Chinese clubs to follow suit. Costing an estimated $118 million USD, the athletics track which remains around the perimeter of the pitch could be removed in the future. This would follow the lead of Hongkou Stadium which was rebuilt in 1999.
Since Henan Jianye F.C moved into Hanghai Stadium in 2006 the club’s fortunates have markedly improved. Earning promotion back to the Super League in their first season after 16 years of absence, Henan even qualified for the group stages of the AFC Champions League in 2010.
They were drawn with Suwon Bluewings, Singapore Armed Forces and Gamba Osaka but failed to make it out of the group. Still, hosting such a high level of football at the Marine Stadium and gaining experience is never a bad thing.