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Chinese sports industry aims to reach $460b in 5-year plan

Updated: May 5,2016 5:33 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The Chinese sports industry will amount to over three trillion yuan ($460 billion) by the end of 2020, according to China’s sports development five-year plan released on May 5.

“China’s overall sports industry turnout will be amounting to more than three trillion yuan, accounting for one percent in GDP with the added value of sports service taking up 30 percent in the overall sports industry,” said the five-year plan issued by China’s State General Administration of Sports.

The plan underlines China’s supportive measures and requests for football’s development in the country, including lottery operation on the Chinese domestic football leagues, saying: “The total football pitches in the country will reach over 7,000, averaging at least half a pitch for each 10,000 people and 0.7 pitch for 10,000 in the favorable areas. The number needs to run up to 50 million in China engaging in regular football playing.”

“Speeding up the innovative and creative progress on sports lottery, studying and promoting the process of starting up football lottery on the Chinese domestic leagues,” said the plan. “Adopting to the trend, broading the lottery trade channel and steadily expanding market scale.”

The plan further endorses the “Medium and Long-Term Plan of Chinese Football Development”, which was issued last month by China’s National Development and Reform Commission, aiming at entering the football “elite club” and making the goal of “top class soccer nation” by 2050.

“By 2020, China will have 20,000 soccer academies. Chinese football teams, for both men and women, will present impressive results in World Cup, Asian Cup and Olympics,” the plan added, echoing the “Medium and Long-Term Plan”.

The plan also outlines goals on basketball and volleyball, embodying China’s regard on “three big balls”. “The basketball teams need to both qualify for the Rio Olympics and book good finishes in the rankings, maintaining their pace-setting positions in Asia. For 2020 Tokyo Olympics, basketball teams should at least guarantee the qualifications and go up in Games placing as well,” said the plan.

“For women’s volleyball, we need to maintain our world leading position in both Rio and Tokyo and men’s volleyball team will gradually narrow its gap with world powers and try to secure a berth in Tokyo.”

The plan draws out blueprint for nationwide fitness programs, setting goals of newly building 500 public fitness centers in counties and 15,000 fitness facilities in villages and towns. 10,000 more multi-functional playing grounds will be constructed in cities, averaging 1.8 square meters of sporting field for each by 2020.