Datianwan: beginning of Chongqing sport
A group photo after Zhang Mingmin’s concert. (Photo provided by interviewee)
Pei Xingguo, on the third position from the left in the first row.
Datianwan Stadium is the first Grade A stadium since the establishment of the PR China as well as a symbol for sports in Chongqing.
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- Every story has a beginning, and the story of Chongqing sports over several decades starts from Datianwan Stadium.
Datianwan Stadium is the first Grade A stadium since the founding of People’s Republic of China and was the home field of the Chinese Football Association Super League in Chongqing. It witnessed the beginning of Chongqing sports and is also the symbol for it. As time goes on, the function of Datianwan Stadium has changed.
Citizens voluntarily filled a valley and laid the foundation
In 1956, the Datianwan Stadium was completed with an area of 120,000 square meters, which is the first Grade A stadium after the founding of People’s Republic of China. Two years later, the 28-year-old Pei Xingguo began his work at the stadium where he dedicated his later life.
Pei recalled that before the construction of stadium, Datianwan was still a valley and needed to be filled. Therefore, the municipal government mobilized cadres and citizens to voluntarily participate in the construction. They helped flatten the slopes next to the Tiaosan Tower, and then filled the valley of Datianwan with the soil of the hillsides.
Scoreboards hang on the watchtower
"At that time, I worked at the Datianwan Stadium and organized various sports games." Because it is a long time ago, Pei Xingguo could not recall any specific data, but he said that citizens were very enthusiastic in participating in table tennis, football, basketball and volleyball competitions.
On one side of the Stadium’s entrance, there was an iconic watchtower. In the era without electronic scoreboard, Pei recalled, a physical scoreboard hung on the tower while competing: "Whenever a goal was scored, we wouldflip the scoreboard."
Became a great place for football games and concerts
At the beginning of 1997, the Qianwei Huandao Football Club officially settled in Chongqing, and the home field was at Datianwan. Since then, the Datianwan Stadium entered a new stage. At the same time, Datianwan Stadium was once the venue for large-scale performances in Chongqing. During that time, Datianwan at night was very lively.
"At that time, there were a lot of people going to watch the game." Pei Xingguo recalled that at that time the entire stadium could only seat a little more than 4,000 people, and the tickets were in short supply. "People would bring summer sleeping mat and queue up for matches of the next day the whole night."
Since 1998, Datianwan Stadium has become the most popular outdoor concert venue in Chongqing. From 1998 to 2000, the performance in Datianwan was very popular. Rock and pop music, musicals and other forms of performance took turns. Young people took pride in watching a concert at Datianwan Stadium.
A change in function but not in symbol
As time goes on, Datianwan Stadium has shifted its function, but its symbol representing sport of Chongqing and people’s wish for a better fitness remains the same.
The current Datianwan Stadium, on which natural grass grows, has transformed into seven five-a-side football fields and an eight-a-side football field. The lighting facilities has been installed to better light the stadium and extend its opening hours. “There are few natural grass football fields in Chongqing and even less open to public.” said Lin Fei, a football fan from Jiulongpo.
At the same time, the plastic track of the stadium is a good place for citizens to run and walk. (Translated by Yang Lifu, Fathom Language Limited)