Inside the Workers’ Stadium: discovering China’s fast-growing football culture

The heat. That’s all I could think about walking down the long stretch of road that leads from Dongsishitiao subway station to the north gate of the Beijing Workers’ Stadium (known to locals as Gong Ti). A quick check of the phone shows the temperature to be an eye-watering 34 degrees. It’s 5.30 in the evening.

The tree-covered footpath at least offers some respite, amidst the noticeable swelling of green and yellow clothing and ticket touts desperately shouting numbers to potential buyers. In an age where touts are increasingly rare, certainly in Western Europe, it’s remarkable to see them operate here with impunity, with each tout holding stacks of tickets.

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