A Steel Bird's Nest – How Much Did China Pay for the Olympic Stadium?

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Ferrous Metals, Humor

Like many others who watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, I was glued to the screen as scene-after-artificially-enhanced-scene ” OK, Beijing admits that only the fireworks were digitally modified ” brought amazement to my eyes. Part of what I was admiring, though, was not the digital eye candy or even the beautiful little girl who turned out was lip-synching a song ” the actual singing seven year old was deemed not beautiful enough by the Chinese media politburo to qualify for media prime time ” but rather the exceptional new stadium known as the Bird’s Nest that China built for the opening ceremonies and track events. The awesome structure with exposed steel beams was “built with 36 km (22.4 miles) of unwrapped steel, with a combined weight of 45,000 tonnes (49,600 tons),” according to Wikipedia. If we take today’s price in China of $924 per ton for cold rolled steel (which is still 15% cheaper than in the US at today’s costs) according to MetalMiner IndX, that’s roughly $45 million in total steel costs. Now that’s some serious Yuan. But let’s look on the bright side for the Chinese. If China’s medal goals don’t work out, they can always scrap it ¦

Jason Busch

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