Rebuilt in 1999, the 33,000 capacity Hongkou Soccer Stadium (Hongkou Zuqiuchang) boasts the world’s longest cantilevered steel truss roof structure. Naturally, that’s not why most people come here. Instead, it’s a place to watch big-name concerts (Mariah Carey and Linkin Park have both played here) and, of course, soccer.
Chinese football can hardly compare with the UK’s Premier League, but a night watching local team Shanghai Shenhua play is a great way to see an alternative side to the city. Fans can be just as vocal as anywhere else in the world. Tickets almost never sell out, meaning you can buy them from the ticket office on the night (on Jiangwan Lu, near the KFC outlet), or from touts outside the ground (never pay more than 30-40 RMB, regardless of the alleged face value).
The soccer season runs from March until November, with home games played every couple of weeks. More information is available from this English-language fan group on Facebook.
If you’re not content just to watch and instead want to kick a football yourself, make time for a visit to Lu Xun Park, right behind the stadium.