Walk Away From Me My Love...

demolition of Wulihe
cloud of smoke
nothing leftI just came across these pictures of the demolition of Wulihe Stadium in Shenyang, which occured this afternoon. Many Chinese, especially soccer fans, will never forget the name "Wulihe," because it is where, in October 2001, China ended a 44 year drought and for the first (and so far only) time in history qualified for the World Cup. The play of "Milu's army" along with the excellent support of the Dongbei fans was truly something special.

I'd visited Wulihe a number of times and on the last visit, I was pretty shocked at how far it had detiorated. No ticket offices, no concession stands, and worst of all, NO LIGHTBULBS IN THE MEN'S BATHROOM!!! With Shenyang hoping to host some of the 2008 Olympic events, Wulihe was slated to be renovated, but the decision was ultimately made to destroy it and build a new stadium in its place. Much like when Chicago faced the destruction of Chicago Stadium and Old Comiskey, Wulihe was a total dump, but its a place that holds so many good memories and so its hard to part with...

Some personal pictures:

inside Wulihe Stadium
I Love Shenyangyes indeed, I Love You, Shenyang!

UPDATE: this from Li Tie's blog (one of the players who was on the pitch during those fateful Qualifying games in 2001) on Wulihe's demolition. A quick translation of what he said: I knew this day was coming for some time, but now that its here I still feel a bit uncomfortable. Wulihe is a place where I accomplished a dream of mine, it is a place that has offered me much happiness, one that I will never forget. I don't know what will become of this place in the future. If this lucky place could be turned into an apartment complex that would be great, I could buy an apartment and live here. Its interesting to think about.

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