Korean baseball fans will have another team to root for starting next year.
The NC Dinos, the ninth club in the Korean Baseball Organization, will join the professional league in 2013, a year ahead of schedule.
The KBO’s board of directors ― comprised of presidents of the current eight teams ― approved the addition in a meeting Tuesday.
The Lotte Giants were the only club to oppose the proposal, according to reports.
|The NC Dinos are set to become the ninth team in the KBO. (NC Dinos)|
NCsoft, an online game developer, set up the NC Dinos in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province in 2011.
Its initial goal was to make it into the country’s top league in 2014, but NC Dinos officials announced it was ready to join the season in 2013, submitting a proposal to the KBO.
NCsoft has finished rebuilding the Masan Baseball Stadium, investing roughly 10 billion won ($8.8 million).
The board also reviewed a proposal to launch a 10th team but decided to put it on hold.
“Many are of the opinion that there needs to be a 10th team. However, they have decided to more closely review the proposal,” said a KBO official.
“It is unclear whether or not we will go with nine clubs for a year or two years, but I believe we need to keep this time as short as possible,” said KBO Secretary General Yang Hae-young.
At the moment, Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, and North Jeolla Province are looking into forming a 10th team with corporations.
Baseball is one of the most popular professional sports in Korea.
In 2011, the KBO drew some 6.8 million fans, breaking an all-time season high.
Stadiums have seen more than 1.3 million people hit the stands since the season began on April 7.
By Robert Lee (email@example.com