Seoul has finally announced that it will build a 30,000-seat dome ballpark in Jamsil. Baseball players and baseball fans should be happy.
But there’s a catch in the plan. After the 2025 season, the Doosan Bears and LG Twins will be on the road for six years while the dome is completed. That’s six years.
They will be able to play baseball again in the Jamsil Dome starting in 2032.
After watching the Toronto Blue Jays play at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, on Sept. 16 (local time), Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon announced that the city will build a state-of-the-art sports and convention facility, including a dome ballpark, around Jamsil Stadium.
The Jamsil Dome Stadium, which will be the second in Korea after the Gocheok Sky Dome, will be built with 30,000 seats. It will be connected to a hotel, making it possible to watch baseball not only in the rooms but also in the restaurant and swimming pool. After the KBO league ends in 2025, the ballpark will be demolished, and construction will begin in 2032.
The cost is expected to be around 500 billion won, and the project will be led by Seoul Smart Myspace Park (tentative name – Hanwha), the preferred bidder. As a private investment project, the Hanwha consortium will bear the entire cost and have the right to operate for 40 years.
Jamsil Stadium opened in 1982. It won the world championship that year with Kim Jae-bak’s famous “frog bunt” and Han Dae-hwa’s three-run home run, and has been the home of a professional baseball team since 1983. More than 30,000 spectators enjoyed baseball, but recently, as a strategy for gentrification, the stadium has been operated with a designated seating system and enlarged table seats, allowing a maximum of 23,750 people to enter. Currently, it is the second oldest baseball stadium in Korea after Daejeon’s Hanwha Life Eagles Park, but a new stadium is under construction in Daejeon and is expected to open in 2025.
Seoul’s announcement of plans to build a dome stadium in Jamsil is certainly a welcome development, as climate change has led to more frequent localized heavy rainfall, increasing the need for dome stadiums. The Gocheok Dome was built on a small site, and although it was a dome stadium, there were many fans who were disappointed that it was lacking in many areas, so baseball fans have been demanding the construction of a good dome stadium in Jamsil. Seoul should be applauded for responding to the voices of baseball players and fans.
However, the construction period is too long. What’s worse is that during this six-year period, the two major Korean baseball teams, Doosan and LG, have not been able to decide where to play baseball.
There are currently only two places for professional baseball teams to play in Seoul: Jamsil Stadium and Gocheokdome. The former Mokdong Stadium used to be home to the Kiwoom Heroes, but it’s now used for amayagu. Even when Kiwoom was using it, it was criticized for its small size and poor facilities for a professional team.
In addition, if the home stadium is moved to another area, there is a possibility that existing fans who used to come to Jamsil may not come due to distance, and the decrease in revenue due to the decrease in admission revenue when using a small stadium may be large. In particular, it is too long a period of time (six years instead of one or two years), and there is a risk of losing fans while trying to bring them to a good ballpark.
That’s why LG and Doosan have been proposing to the Seoul Metropolitan Government to remodel the Jamsilju Stadium into a baseball stadium, but the city has refused.스포츠토토
LG said, “We will organize TFTs with Doosan to find the best solution. We will do our best to ensure that fans and players can watch and play in the best environment,” while Doosan said, “Fans should not be harmed. We will take appropriate measures from the fans’ perspective.” The KBO said, “The two clubs are hoping to remodel Jamsil Stadium and use it as a temporary stadium during the construction period. We will continue to consult with the Seoul Metropolitan Government along with the two clubs.”
This is just the beginning of a big plan for Seoul. The six-year wait will be worth it if the two sides can come up with ideas.