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KBO agrees to expansion

The Korea Baseball Organization agreed Tuesday on a proposal to launch a ninth baseball team in the country’s top league.

The KBO, which was established in 1982, started the league with six teams and expanded it to the current eight-team league in 1991.

The KBO’s board of directors, comprised of presidents of the current eight teams, gathered in Seoul Tuesday to discuss the inclusion of a new professional baseball team.

The baseball governing body earlier reached a memorandum of understanding with Changwon to set up a new team in the South Gyeongsang Province city. And with the full support of the city, NCsoft Corp., an online game developer, submitted last week a letter of interest to the KBO.

The KBO said there were also two other companies bidding to launch the new ball club.

However, the KBO failed to pick one company for the ninth ball club on Tuesday.

A new club entering the KBO must pay out expansion fees, which are shared among existing clubs and are also used by the league to cover operating costs and to add to the KBO development fund.

While there is no set amount of minimum expansion fees, the Seoul-based Nexen Heroes, which took over the defunct Hyundai Unicorns before the 2008 season, had to pay 12 billion won.

The KBO will convene another board meeting in February to decide on a new ball club owner.

By Oh Kyu-wook (596story@heraldcorp.com)
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