A Major League Baseball (MLB) dome stadium is set to be built in the capital city of Seoul, but plans for the new stadium have not even been finalized for the two teams that will use it.
On the afternoon of the 16th (local time), Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon, who is on a business trip to North America, visited the Rogers Centre (home of the Toronto Blue Jays) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and announced that the city will build a state-of-the-art sports and convention facility, including a dome ballpark, in the Jamsil area, according to Seoul Metropolitan Government and news reports.메이저사이트
The size of the baseball stadium is about 30,000 seats, and Seoul is considering building the new stadium in conjunction with a hotel like some Major League Baseball (MLB) stadiums. The idea is to make baseball viewing possible not only in the rooms, but also in the restaurants, pools, etc. In fact, the Rogers Centre, which Oh visited, has a hotel in the outfield, and some rooms actually have views of the game.
The new dome in Jamsil, which is part of a “sports and MICE complex” plan to be built on the site of the current Seoul Sports Complex in Jamsil, is scheduled to begin in earnest after the end of the 2025 KBO season. Since it will be built on the site of the Jamsil Baseball Stadium, the current ballpark will be demolished and the stadium is planned to open in 2032.
The cost is expected to be around 500 billion won, and the preferred bidder, Seoul Smart Myspace Park (tentative name – Hanwha), will be in charge of the project. As it is a private investment project, the Hanwha consortium will bear the entire cost and have the right to operate it for 40 years. The LG Twins and Doosan Bears, who currently use Jamsil Baseball Stadium, will not contribute any money.
If the stadium is built as planned, it will be the second dome ballpark in Korea after the Gocheok Sky Dome, which opened in 2015. Currently home to the Kiwoom Heroes, the Gocheok Skydome is relatively small (16,000 seats) but has been successful in hosting baseball games and other performances and events. The Jamsil Dome, with a capacity of 30,000, is not a small stadium by international standards.
This year, the KBO had a rainy season in July, and then the fall rains continued into September, resulting in many rain cancellations. As a result, the pennant race may not end until mid-October, and the postseason may not end until mid-November. That’s a lot of rain for a tight schedule. In this situation, a dome stadium, especially if it’s built in a sleeping room where games are played every day, would give the league more flexibility in scheduling.
In addition, just as the Gocheok Sky Dome hosted the first round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic (WBC) and the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 group stage, Jamsil Dome Stadium can also host international tournaments. This would give domestic fans more opportunities to watch high-level baseball games.
Despite these advantages, there is a problem with building a dome stadium. This is the problem of alternative stadiums. Currently, Jamsil Baseball Stadium is shared by LG and Doosan. They will need to find a new home in two years, and it’s not easy to find a stadium where a professional team can play 71 or 73 games a year.
The scenario of using the Jamsil main stadium as a replacement has been scrapped. This is because the construction of the Sports-Myth complex will turn the entire neighborhood into a construction site, threatening the safety of traveling fans.
The only ballparks available to professional teams in Seoul, where both teams are based, are the Gocheok SkyDome and Mokdong Baseball Stadium. The Gocheok Dome is already used by Kiwoom as a home base and is rented out for concerts and other events even on non-game days, making it difficult to coordinate schedules. Another obstacle is that Mokdong Baseball Stadium, which was used by Kiwoom’s predecessor Nexen, is currently used exclusively by amateurs, with neighbors complaining about lighting and noise issues.
It’s even harder to leave your hometown. In the Seoul metropolitan area, there are SSG Landers Field (home of the SSG Landers) in Incheon and KT Wiz Park (home of the KT Wiz) in Suwon, but it’s not easy to live in a non-local stadium for six years. The team could follow in the footsteps of the Hyundai Unicorns, who left Incheon and made Suwon their temporary home before falling out of favor. There are other secondary stadiums in the region, such as Pohang Baseball Stadium and Munsu Baseball Stadium in Ulsan, but they are not the same as the current fan base of LG and Doosan, making this option less realistic.
Worse, the city has announced plans for a new stadium but has not yet decided on a replacement for the Jamsil-based team. Yeo Jang-kwon, head of the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Balanced Development Division, said, “We need to think about which stadium the two teams will use during the construction,” adding that “consultation between the clubs is necessary.”
The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) had previously discussed the construction of the Jamsil Dome with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and asked Doosan and LG to find an alternative venue during the construction period. However, several options have been considered, but no concrete decision has been made.
The issue of a home stadium is an important one for the club. Owners are concerned about financial matters such as gate receipts and advertising. Players may also have problems adjusting to the new stadium. Despite such an important agenda, the city of Seoul has only released a “sweet blueprint” without a plan of action.