Soccer town begins to rise; yachting, health to follow
China's football (soccer) future began to look brighter July 19 when Sokka Sports Cultural Tourism Comprehensive Industrial Base came under construction in Pingsha Town, Gaolan Port Economic Zone.
The first phase of the 6-billion-yuan ($859-million) multicomplex is a 650-million-yuan ($93-million) Football Small Town south of Zhufeng Avenue near Nanxin Community. The town is expected to greatly alleviate the shortage of high-quality football training grounds in the country as it incorporates football and training, athletic rehabilitation, event organization, academic exchanges, player trades, and industrial R&D.
Groundbreaking site in Pingsha Town [Photo by Kang Zhenhua / Guanhai App]
Up to 20 eleven-a-side and four five-a-side football fields are to be completed by late October. Adjacent will be three dormitory buildings for football players, a professional training hall, service building, football-themed hotel, athletic talent exchange-and-trading facility, football education training venue, and sports industry R&D center.
Once operational in September 2021, the national training base is to provide a high-quality training ground and all-round services for a wide variety of football teams, while accommodating 2,500 spectators.
Planned as a model for integrated urban-rural development, the entire base will comprise three small towns individually designed for football, yachting tourism, and healthcare and entrepreneurship. Utilized will be local mountain, ocean, lake, paddy field, and village resources, said Chen Hanxiong, chairman of Guangdong Sokka Group, the investor.
Tourism Small Town will consist of a seaside block, yacht terminal, 4S yacht stores, and boutique resorts that provide dietary therapy and yachting, which will complement nearby Ocean Spring Resort in Jinwan District.
Healthcare & Entrepreneurship Small Town will house R&D institutions dealing with wearable devices, athletic rehabilitation, and cultural, artistic, and sci-tech integration and innovation along with healthcare services and facilities.
Rendering of Phase 1, Football Small Town [Photo provided by Guangdong Sokka Group to Guanhai App]
Hangzhou-headquartered real estate construction management Bluetown Group oversees the planning, construction, and operation of the Sport, Cultural & Tourism Industrial Base under an agreement signed with Guangdong Sokka Group on July 19. The Sokka Headquarters Building on 3rd Pingsha Road came into operation the same day.
Cheng Zhiwen, director of the Guangdong Province Football Association, said the recreational towns will relate sports more closely with the culture, tourism, and big-health sectors.
Zhuhai Suoka Sport Culture Development will invest over 3 billion yuan ($469 million) to convert an abandoned quarry in Pingsha Town of Jinwan District, Zhuhai into a huge football training base.
Land use has been approved for construction of the national-level Sokka National (Southern) Football Training Base in Jinwan District.