In order to learn from the valuable experience of building and operating a major international sports stadium and use them as reference for constructing the Taichung Arena in the future, Taichung City Mayor Shiow-yen Lu led a delegation to the Wembley Stadium in London, the UK on the 4th (Taipei time) to exchange and learn from its experiences in stadium facilities, business model, types of activities, shuttle and transport. She emphasized that "Taichung Arena will become the best" and commented that Taichung Arena will take into consideration Wembley Stadium's hardware, architecture as well as multifunctional planning and design to provide the citizens with a diversified, premium leisure and recreational venue.
With a capacity of 90,000 seats, Wembley is the second-largest football stadium in Europe. Its retractable roof shields the spectators from the elements, and the pitch can also be used for other sports events. According to Mayor Lu, after seeing the Wembley Stadium - which was demolished and rebuilt in 2007 – she was most impressed with the construction techniques involved. The steel archway of the stadium is 315m long and 133 tall, making it the longest unsupported roof structure in the world. The ingenious pillar-less design provides the spectators with an unobstructed view!
Mayor Lu said that as a multifunctional stadium, Wembley Stadium is not only the mecca for football fans but also frequently hosts concerts and boxing matches. Since the city hall plans to build the 15,000-seat Taichung Arena in the 14th Redevelopment Zone, she stressed that "Taichung Arena will become the best! It will be a pity if it is only used for one purpose." In addition to hardware and architecture, other facilities such as players' dressing rooms, press room, and even the catering department and souvenir area will take into consideration Wembley' Stadium's design and planning.
As Wembley Stadium has hosted countless major soccer matches, Mr. Laurence, the docent responsible for giving the city hall delegation a guided tour asked Mayor Lu if she is a soccer fan and who her favorite soccer star is, to which Mayor Lu replied with a smile that the soccer she admires the most is Maradona. She believes that in addition to important elements including the stadium's hardware and architecture, Wembley Stadium has paid meticulous attention to details such as marketing star players and merchandise, these are experiences that Taichung can learn from. She picked up Argentine soccer star Messi's autographed jersey and said: "I adore Messi too!"
According to the city hall, Taichung Arena is a large indoor multifunctional venue that can accommodate up to 15,000 people, making it ideal for hosting major sports events, activities, performances or exhibitions, providing citizens with a new alternative for diverse recreational and leisure activities. The arena will also attract more tourists and consumers to visit Taichung. Taichung Arena will be constructed on the 6.9-hectare Wen Zhong Xiao 6 land lot in the 14th Redevelopment Zone. Currently, feasibility assessment, advanced planning, and design have been completed, while the construction work has been outsourced to a professional construction management firm in August this year. The architect is expected to be selected in April 2020 and groundbreaking is scheduled for 2022. Completion and official opening are slated for 2026.