Ah, minigolf. The sport of lower middle class royalty. How far it has come in its 500 year history. From leather pouches filled with feathers to plastic and rubber balls, from courses made in sand dunes to custom-built nature reserves, from wooden sticks to steel and synthetic polymer clubs. Then boom! Suddenly we're in the minigolf space age. Lilalicht 3D Blacklight Minigolf, which just recently opened in The Hub, finally brings blacklight minigolf to a mall (sort of) near you. But is it any good?
People with more toenails than sense are running an inordinately long distance this Sunday, based on some arcane, ancient messaging system. That's right, it's... The Marathon! And it's happening this weekend, starting at 7am on Sunday at the Bund Bull. You know, the one whose... are shiny and polished from all the handling. That one. The Wall Street one. It's way too late to sign up but if you'd like to cheer those leg muscles and chafed male nipples on, or just want to avoid the road closures that will happen as the course heads down to the Xupu Bridge, have a look at this high resolution map of the route. Toenails — who needs them!
Taito Station, the biggest arcade games chain store in Japan, the creator behind all-time favorites like Space Invaders and Bubble Bobble, has opened its first spot in Shanghai. Not nearly as big as its world famous six-floor game center in Akihabara, it still promises plenty of gaudy, fluffy fun for fans of claw games. We went to pluck victory from the fluffy jaws of defeat with the robotic hand of God. The Claw! The Claw is our master! It decides who will go and who will stay!
Hey, running fans. Can't help but notice that you seem to have thrown stairs into the mix. Stairs. Who hurt you? Was it the Jing'an Shangri-La? No? Not yet, anyway. The Jing'an Shangri-La is hosting the 2019 Climb for Hope Vertical Charity Run. It's happening next Saturday, Oct 19, kicking off at 7.30am and ending 60 floors, 1,625 steps and a bad case of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome later, at the finish line on the highest floor. The record to beat is 11 minutes and 53 seconds. It's 298rmb per person, including a starter kit, a gift bag, and a breakfast buffet. Sign-up instructions on the event listing.
Exhibits of nocturnal animals are the worst. Foxes, red pandas, tigers, bears, lounging around, often not even sleeping where we can watch them, transfixed, our heavy breathing misting the glass. Welcome news, then! Shanghai Wild Animal Park, whose official slogan should be "At Least We're Not Shanghai Zoo And We Don't Feed Live Animals to the Tigers Anymore," has started evening hours! As of today, Thursday, there's a late-night entry going from 4 to 9pm. The park will be dimming the lights to simulate moonlight, allowing visitors to get a glimpse of the lions, tigers, bears and raccoons during their more active nocturnal cycles. Tickets are 60rmb.
Motocrosssssss. The world's biggest, bestest off-road, closed-track motorcycle competition is having its final races out in Shanghai. The annual grand prix, starting in Argentina this year, sees 20 stations and 1,862 races, 41 teams from 40 countries and 241 riders going head-to-head on a dirt track. The final races in MXGP (450cc) and MX2 (250cc) are taking places on Shanghai's 336 acre Motocross Circuit in Fengxian (which is still technically Shanghai) on September 14-15. They're surrounding the whole track with the usual race-day accoutrements: music stages, food, exhibitions, demonstrations and tons and tons of branded merch stands. Enough Monster energy drink to fill West Lake! Tickets to Shanghai MXGP 2019 just went on sale over on SmartTicket. Prices start at 680rmb.
Shanghai's premiere tennis event, the annual Shanghai Rolex Masters is a knockout tournament played on outdoor hard courts as part of the ATP World Tour Masters and sees the world's greatest tennis stars, all three of them, battling for the trophy, the fame, and the cool seven million US dollars. Little known fact, it's the only ATP tournament in Asia that's going to have Djokovic, Federer and Nadal scheduled to play. Matches go from October 5 to October 13 at the Qizhong Forest Tennis Center in Minhang and tickets start at 360rmb pre-sale. Tickets to Rolex Masters are on sale over on SmartTicket.
Did you hear about the new, 57th Chinese nationality? Baxiren! (Brazilian.) The joke comes out of the recent, astonishing moves that have roiled Chinese football, and it all started with the last World Cup and the last Asian Cup. China wasn’t present at that World Cup, and Qatar won the Asian Cup — with significant help from players from other countries who had become naturalized Qataris, most notably the extraordinary Almoez Ali, who was born in Sudan. China began to dip its toe into the naturalization waters last year, arranging last year for Englishman Nico Yenneris, whose mother is ethnically Chinese, to get a Chinese passport and play for Beijing Guo’an as “Li Ke.” But the process has suddenly accelerated.
Sweaty nights with strangers and acquaintances, perhaps more than a few cocktails — we know that’s how your summer goes down in Shanghai. We’re referring, of course, to hanging out with your buddies on hot nights at Shanghai’s stadiums and watching pro sports. And as always when we talk China and sports, that means we’re mainly talking about football.
Last chance to get your tickets for X Games, (re)launching this weekend. Brazilians Luan Oliveira and Leticia Bufoni are set to compete, as are Zack Warden, Tom Pages, and, big name here, Nyjah Huston, the shoe-in to win everything skate-related. Surrounding the event will be the "X-Feast" food festival and live music from the likes of Soft Lipa and MC HotDog. Tickets available right here until 3pm.
This Sunday there is a big football game. The irresistible force of Liverpool will meet the immovable object of Tottenham Hotspur in a match that is already being described as "one of the many football games happening this year" and "on this Sunday." Actually, it’s more like Monday for us [Update: it is, in fact, on Sunday morning. Whoopsie!]. Kickoff is at 3am Shanghai time, but a bunch of bars are staying open to show it.
Mark the date in your friggin’ diary, y’all. Mercedes-Benz Arena hosts the world-famous showdown of spandex and steroids for the fourth year in a row on September 21. The card is packed with muscular, sweaty people ready to theatrically savage each other for the baying crowds. The WWE bandwagon is carting in Roman Reigns (in line to replace Triple H as the face of the company even though no one likes him), the first African-born WWE world champion Kofi Kingston, daughter-of-Ric-Flair Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Finn Balor, Xavier Woods, Australian tag-team The IIconics, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Kevin Owens, who sounds like he works in a post office. Kevin.
The show comes after the biggest ever WWE tryout in China, which takes place from July 15 to July 18 and gives 50 Chinese athletes the chance to slap someone with enough pizazz to get selected for additional training at the WWE performance centre in Florida, USA. Chinese wrestlers Xia Li and Boa are there right now training for the big September throwdown. Tickets available on SmartTicket. The early bird tickets start at 180rmb, and are likely to go very, very fast.
The premier event for dudes and ladies on small and medium-sized wheels doing improbable things on ramps. Don't miss the world's "ultimate sport and cultural festival" making its debut in China! Which is weird because we distinctly remember it happening before. Anyway, ESPN is (re)kicking it off with a new partner, throwing a two-day event (June 1-2) with three classic disciplines: Skateboard, BMX and Moto X, including a 10-story-high big air stage.
Brazilians Luan Oliveira and Leticia Bufoni are set to compete, as are Zack Warden, Tom Pages, and, big name here, Nyjah Huston, the shoe-in to win everything skate-related. Surrounding the event will be the "X-Feast" food festival and live music from the likes of Soft Lipa and MC HotDog.
Tickets available right here.
Sure, go ahead and shell out the big bucks this summer to watch some guys wearing Manchester City laundry jog around Hongkou Stadium. City will be here July 20 for the “Asia Trophy,” a football term which means, “match that doesn’t count for shit unless you’re our CFO.” We’ve got a better idea: for less than 200rmb on Sunday night at Shanghai Stadium, you and 25,000 or so crazed fans can catch what is likely to be the most electric Chinese football match of the year.
Formula 1 is over but the next major race has already begun: there’s a new go-karting circuit underneath the Pearl Tower! Opened in April with a spot from one-time literary bad boy and race car driver Han Han, it has yet to be wanghong’d — that means no lines and no waiting to race around Lujiazui at ground-level.
Great news if you’ve been wondering how to get your fighting fix after Game of Thrones finally roars itself out: there’s a new archery (and boxing) center in the heart of Jing’an: SHC Archery and More. This is space-age shooting, though, like the training center in The Hunger Games: fibreglass bows, LED-lit lanes and Nordic furniture. It’s a decent upper body workout. And fun.
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