FACTBOX - Five Facts about Beijing's 'Bird's Nest'

Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:22pm IST

A general view shows the construction site of the National Olympic Stadium, also known as the ''Bird's Nest'', in Beijing November 9, 2007. REUTERS/Eunice Zhang/Files

A general view shows the construction site of the National Olympic Stadium, also known as the ''Bird's Nest'', in Beijing November 9, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Eunice Zhang/Files

Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

(Reuters) - China's National Stadium, nicknamed the "Bird's Nest" and one of the two iconic venues for this year's Beijing Olympics, hosted its first sporting event on Friday.

Australian Jared Tallent was the first athlete to taste victory in the arena when he won the IAAF 20km race walk.

Here are five facts about the stadium:

* Construction began on Dec. 24, 2003, the same day as the neighbouring "Water Cube" National Aquatics Centre. The first sporting event was held on April 18, 2008, 112 days ahead of the opening ceremony.

* Occupying 258,000 square metres and seating 91,000 people, it will stage the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics competition and soccer finals during the Games.

* It cost 3.5 billion yuan ($500.7 million), used 42,000 tonnes of steel and involved the relocation of 4,707 residents from 2,043 households in the surrounding area.

* Construction was suspended in 2004 after complaints that it was costing too much. Some 9,000 seats, 12,000 tonnes of steels and the retractable roof were cut from the design. Further delayed for 14 weeks because, officials said, of the complexity of preparing for the opening ceremony.

* After the Games it will become the home stadium of Beijing Guoan Football Club and an auction will be held for the naming rights. It will cost 40 to 50 million yuan ($5.72 million-$7.15 million) a year to run.

Cricketer Dies

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Indian Soccer

Indian Soccer

India's two leagues to merge within five years - FA official.  Full Article 

Proud Wenger

Proud Wenger

Wenger proud of Arsenal but says they can do better   Full Article | Related Story 

Mandzukic Hat-trick

Mandzukic Hat-trick

Mandzukic shifts into top gear with European treble  Full Article 

Sun's Doping Ban

Sun's Doping Ban

WADA may appeal Sun's three-month doping ban  Full Article 

Unimpressive Liverpool

Unimpressive Liverpool

Liverpool stumble again as Terziev earns Ludogorets late draw  Full Article 

Real Beat Basel

Real Beat Basel

Ronaldo strike sinks gallant Basel  Full Article 

England vs Lanka

England vs Lanka

England fall short in Sri Lanka despite Moheen century  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage