National Aquatics Center unveils public ice sports arena

The entrance of the Ice Sports Center in the south square of the National Aquatics Center. [Photo courtesy of the National Aquatics Center]

The National Aquatics Center, a dual-Olympic venue in Beijing, has opened its underground ice sports arena to the public, with a week-long trial operation starting Aug. 1.

With its Water Park, licensed Beijing 2022 merchandise store, and warm-up pool all starting to receive guests as of July, the center has officially kicked off its innovation drive to host both water and ice sports simultaneously, a move set to bolster the sustainable development of Olympic venues.

The standard ice rink of the Ice Sports Center. [Photo courtesy of the National Aquatics Center]

Located 11 meters underground at the National Aquatics Center's south square, the Ice Sports Center encompasses a 1,830sqm standard ice rink and a standard four-track curling rink, with overall operations covering 8,000sqm.

The Ice Sports Center plans to host a wide range of activities upon opening, such as competitions, entertainment programs, fitness projects, training courses, and touring events, and is set to build an ice sports complex of Olympic standard for public use.

It has also built a strategic partnership with the World Curling Federation and established the country's first World Curling Academy training center.

The standard ice rink of the Ice Sports Center. [Photo courtesy of the National Aquatics Center]

The Ice Sports Center opened to the public on Aug. 1, with tickets and appointment scheduling services available via the dual-Olympic venue's official WeChat account. A ticket for two hours of ice sports costs 70 yuan per person on weekdays and 90 yuan per person on weekends and holidays. For now, the center is open to individual guests but there are plans to introduce more ice-skating and curling training courses for children and adults.

After a week-long trial operation, the Ice Sports Center will officially open for public use on National Fitness Day, Aug. 8. Opening on such a special occasion reflects that the venue, either as the Water Cube or the Ice Cube, has always followed its designed mission of providing first-class sporting and cultural services to the public, said Yang Qiyong, general manager of the National Aquatics Center.

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