National Stadium (Bird's Nest), Beijing, P.R. China
Arguably the most impressive of the structures built for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, the National Stadium (Bird's Nest) dominates the area of the Olympic Green with its massive size and striking appearance. It is believed to be the world's largest steel structure, built at an estimated cost of US$423 million from groundbreaking on December 24, 2003 to its opening date of June 28, 2008. The stadium was initially designed to hold 100,000 people; however, when the design was changed to eliminated the retractable roof, 9,000 seats had to be removed from the design, making the capacity for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games 91,000 people. Since the end of the Olympics, a further 11,000 seats have been removed (as they were designed to be temporary seats just for the Games), leaving its current capacity at 80,000. Tours of the inside of the Bird's Nest and its neighbor the Water Cube are at least temporarily available as of late 2008. For your Birds Nest tour or Water Cube tour, please contact us at Beijing Discovery Tours, home of your Beijing tour experts.