Soccer Sundays: Beijing BG
Following on from our earlier blog about how to go and watch Chinese Super League Team Beijing Guo’an on a Sunday in Peking (which can be found here) we present the second part of our series on football in Beijing – this time the lesser-known team Beijing BG (formerly Beijing Baxy), known as Bei Kong (a contraction of 北京控股 Běijīng Kònggǔ – Beijing Enterprises Group) – a League 1 (the second tier of Chinese football) team, based currently in Yayuncun in the northern part of the city. Their home stadium since 2014 has been the Olympic Stadium, next door to the more well-known Bird’s Nest (National Stadium, the famous one where the 2008 Olympics opened and closed) this stadium was built for the 1992 Asian Games and then updated and renovated for the Beijing Olympics. It seats over 35,000 but BG home games are attended by usually around 5 - 6 thousand at most.
It’s a simpler vibe than across town at Beijing Guo’an; tickets are cheaper (can be bought from a scalper for around 25-30 RMB usually, that’s only $5!) and the crowd is less rowdy, far less profane, and more family-friendly with a lot of kids in the crowd cheering on the team. There is a small core of Ultras, around 20 or so people, who keep up a rhythm with the usual songs (as mentioned earlier, every team in China has basically the same songs), and we recommend that you sit on the east stand as it is simply a bit livelier than the west. The north stand is always empty, and the south stand is for away supporters, usually there are a couple of dozen up to a hundred of them, depends how far away the opposition have travelled from!
Bei Kong are not a particularly good team, so don’t expect to attend a particularly amazing match, but the price is right and the crowd are welcoming. Plus the stadium and the area around it are very pleasant; popular with joggers in the evening and close enough to a couple of subway stations (nearest is Olympic Sports Centre station - on Line 8) to be an easy visit. The main downside to attending a game here? the refreshments – there are merely two snack bars, they sell a choice between warm flat Coke, warm flat Sprite, and warm flat Fanta (no water) – all for 15 RMB each. And you can’t take bottles into the ground so you’re stuck with this vile selection for the whole match.
Bei Kong don’t have any superstars on the team but a couple of notable players that the fans love would be firstly the Nigerian striker Victor Anichebe (who, frankly, is too good to be playing on this team) a former EPL striker with Everton, Sunderland, and West Brom. Also the diminutive but occasionally fearsome Taiwanese midfielder Wen Chih-hao
Here is Anichebe slotting home a penalty in a recent 3-1 home victory against Shenzhen FC
If you’re looking for a bit of fun, a safe and low-stress event to attend as an alternative to the somewhat hectic and crowded Guo’an matches then we recommend this as a great option – matches are always on the weekends and tickets are always available on the spot from touts outside the game. There are no fake tickets as there is no point in anyone making them, the touts don’t really rip-off foreigners as so few foreigners attend league one games anyway. So go along, enjoy yourself, and suffer through the refreshments!
Bei Kong’s forthcoming match schedule can be found here http://www.futbol24.com/team/China/Beijing-BG-FC/
Coming soon – part three of this series; Watching Beijing Renhe – the ‘other’ other Beijing team!
'Sundays in Peking' introduces sights and activities in Beijing with even the slightest connection to Korea. Sometimes we just write about other stuff happening around Beijing.