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Fun never stops at center

THE Expo Cultural Center has a fully-booked schedule following the Expo and will host many art and sporting events, the Expo organizer said yesterday. They also aim to turn the center into a cultural landmark for Shanghai.

At a ceremony to welcome the center's 8 millionth visitor yesterday, the center's chief operator said it has been agreed that at least one of the National Basketball Association's pre-season games will be held inside the center after the Expo.

The center had been originally designed to meet the required standards for hosting NBA games.

The Disney Ice Show will also stage shows at the center after the Expo, said Guy Ngata, general manager of the center.

The multipurpose entertainment venue is being jointly operated by the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, a cultural and entertainment company and the owner of the Oriental Pearl Tower; AEG, a leading sports and entertainment presenter based in the United States; and the NBA.

"Many international sports events will be held in the venue thanks to its joint operators," said?Ngata.

About 14 events will be held in the center this year after the Expo ends on Sunday.

The first two big performances will be several concerts by top Hong Kong pop singers Faye Wong and Jacky Cheung.

Wong's concert will begin on November 19, Cheung's on December 30.

Walking with Dinosaurs, a stage show developed from a six-part television documentary series, produced by the BBC, will be held from January 19 to 23 in the center.

In addition, a skating rink in the center will open to the public after the Expo. Tickets will cost about 40 yuan (US$6) per person.

Covering 120,000 square meters, the 18,000-seat multi-purpose venue is the largest dedicated indoor performance arena in?China.

The center will also house a six-screen movie cineplex, a bowling alley, a live music club, 20,000 square meters of mixed-use retail space and a 1,000-square-meter single retail outlet.

The indoor section of the Expo opening ceremony was held in the center on April 30, which over the course of the event has received about 40,000 visitors every day.

Liu Xiazhi from Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, yesterday became the 8-millionth visitor to the center. She received 10 free tickets to watch any performance held in the center after the Expo. She said Wong and Cheung's concerts will be among her choices.


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