Seoul has announced plans to build a new Jamsil Dome ballpark. However, two professional baseball teams with ties to Seoul have hit a snag.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced plans to build the Jamsil Dome Stadium (tentative name) on April 18. The idea is to demolish the current baseball field at the general sports complex in Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, and build a new enclosed dome stadium in its place. According to the city, the stadium will have more than 30,000 seats to host international matches and will be accompanied by a hotel, restaurants, and other facilities. Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon recently visited and toured the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, home of Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays. The site of the current sports complex will be transformed into a cultural center, including a convention center, with a new dome stadium at its center.스포츠토토
The estimated construction period is from January 2027 to the end of 2031. However, in order for construction to proceed smoothly, the LG Twins and Doosan Bears, who currently use the stadium as their home ballpark, will have to vacate the stadium starting in the 2026 season. In total, the two teams will have to play out of Jamsil Ballpark for six seasons, from 2016 to 2031.
Six years is an incredibly long time to run a professional team, especially a baseball team with a season that actually spans three seasons: spring, summer, and fall. That’s a lot of time to change the entire direction and framework of a team’s operations. However, moving is an inevitable part of life in a leased stadium.
It is known that the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the KBO, as well as LG and Doosan, have been in discussions about moving to a new stadium and utilizing temporary stadiums. The clubs are hoping to remodel Jamsil Stadium, which is located right next to the current ballpark, to serve as a temporary home, but the Seoul Metropolitan Government is reluctant to do so, citing spectator safety concerns while the entire stadium is under construction. As a result, LG and Doosan are considering temporarily sharing other stadiums in the metropolitan area, including Gocheok Sky Dome, Mokdong Baseball Stadium, KT Wiz Park in Suwon, and SSG Landers Field in Incheon.
However, all of these alternatives are bound to face practical problems. The Gocheok Dome is already leased by the Kiwoom Heroes. Realistically, only one of the two teams, LG and Doosan, will be able to use it. The other team will have to find a new stadium, and Mokdong’s facilities and playing conditions are too poor. The stadium is still used exclusively for amateurs, which is its original purpose, and is not suitable for night games due to noise issues, which was a problem when the Heroes used it as their home stadium in the past. Given its state of disrepair, it would take a major renovation to make it suitable for a professional team. Suwon or Incheon stadiums are also available, but for LG and Doosan, who are currently based in Seoul, traveling far from home, even if it’s in the metropolitan area, can be a burden.
Unless you’re an incredibly passionate fan, it’s not practical to travel to an area far from where you live. Plus, six years is a very long time. Aside from the die-hard loyalists, it can cause cracks in the existing fan base.
There’s also the issue of revenue. Both teams’ current one-year budgets and revenues are calculated based on the historical average of their home stadiums. If they were to temporarily use a lesser stadium than Jamsil, or a stadium that requires traveling farther, their revenue would naturally decrease significantly. A single year’s loss could be at least a few billion won, or well over 10 billion won. Over the course of six years, that’s a lot of money.
This is not to say that there are no alternatives to these stadiums. The Gocheok Dome has the stigma of being a “half-dome,” and there are zero other stadiums in Seoul that are worthy of hosting a professional baseball team. The KBO, LG, and Doosan are willing to continue discussions with the city. Remodeling the Jamsil main stadium would be the most ideal option, but they need to find a solution to the safety issues that have been cited as a negative factor, and reach a consensus on what level of remodeling is feasible. It’s still a long way off, but it’s also close.