Host city profile: Nanjing
With a population of over eight million, Nanjing is the region's second biggest city after Shanghai. The capital of Jiangsu Province, this bustling metropolis is among China's leading cities in terms of industry, finance, culture including science and technology. Located at the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, a three-hour drive from Shanghai, Nanjing is a transportation and trading hub.
Its geographical advantages ensured that the city was among the country’s most historically important towns in ancient times, with Nanjing the capital for six different dynasties. The long list of its historic construction legacy includes the Confucius Temple, the Xuanwu Lake and Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, where the inaugural president of the Republic of China was laid to rest.
Profiting from China's rapid recent development, Nanjing is among the country's most economically dynamic cities. It sits fifth in China's top-50 cities in terms of socioeconomic strengths, while being ranked seventh in the country’s list of most attractive cities in which to live. In 2008, Nanjing was awarded a United Nations Habitat award for its efforts renovating the Qinhuai River and settlements alongside it.
Nanjing's Football History With first-class facilities and sports-loving tradition, Nanjing played the hosts to the country's Third National Cities Sports Games in 1995. The city then went on to stage the prestigious Tenth National Sports Game in 2005, with the hosts finishing top place by winning the most gold medals.
The city's first football team was formed as Jiangsu Provincial Team in 1958 and the following year they represented the province at the national sports event, finishing 12th. From then on, Jiangsu have been an active part in the country's first-division league and they were among the founding clubs when the pro-league was formed in 1994.
After several years of ups and downs, as well as switches of owners, the club changed its name to Jiangsu Sainty in 2000. It took them eight years to earn return to the top flight in 2008, where they have made sustained progress that continues to this day. Under Serbian Dragan Okuka, and with former China and Frankfurt forward Yang Chen as the club’s general manager, the Nanjing-based club finished runners-up last season before edging Marcello Lippi's Guangzhou Evergrande by 2-1 to China's Super Cup title early this year.