Notably hipsterish among all the nouveau-riche guests, Wang Peng came to the snow polo event as the photographer for my magazine. The construction project behind him – always surreally visible from the polo – are what most viewed as the main reason behind the event. The Polo Club is the first completed segment of a USD two billion plus project that will bring to Tianjin a new Central Business District and high-end residential area with villas and luxury apartments.
This ambitious project that Chairman Pan Sutong of Goldin Properties Holdings Limited is doing in cooperation with the Tianjin government will center around a 117 story, 600 meter plus, structure that will be one of the tallest buildings in China and the world. Of course, there are aspirations to a certain nobility that polo is supposed to represent, and this is just part of the pitch for this high-end club and development.
That said, it was a very interesting event and the polo playing was beautiful and also very professional. Even if the men financing the project don’t know how to play polo and aren’t true enthusiasts (though things as enthusiasm are hard to quantify), many polo enthusiasts and players feel grateful for this opportunity to play in Tianjin. The teams, from the UK, Hong Kong (the Club’s own team), New Zealand, France, Australia and Argentina had a wonderful time and enjoyed the competition. How well polo will develop here long term is another matter, but the audience certainly was entertained.