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KBO surpasses 1m in attendance

By Yonhap

Published : April 27, 2023 - 09:18

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This file photo from April 2 shows Incheon SSG Landers Field in Incheon, some 30 kilometers west of Seoul, during a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game between the Kia Tigers and the SSG Landers. (Yonhap) This file photo from April 2 shows Incheon SSG Landers Field in Incheon, some 30 kilometers west of Seoul, during a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game between the Kia Tigers and the SSG Landers. (Yonhap)

The South Korean baseball league said Thursday it has topped 1 million in attendance after 101 games this season, the fifth-fastest rate in the current 10-team setting.

The Korea Baseball Organization announced that its 10 teams combined to surpass the 1 million mark after the previous night's games.

This is the fifth-earliest point in a season for the KBO to reach 1 million fans drawn since it expanded to 10 teams in 2015. Clubs each play 144 games, 16 times against each other.

In 2019, the KBO needed just 90 games to draw 1 million fans to set the record in the current setup.

The KBO did not consider attendance numbers from the past three seasons, all of which were affected by crowd-related restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, with the vast majority of games played without fans, the KBO managed only 328,317 fans. The following year, when restrictions were partially lifted, the KBO drew just over 1.2 million fans.

Gates swung fully open in 2022, though some restrictions remained in place, as the KBO had about 6 million fans.

In the last pre-pandemic season of 2019, the KBO recorded just under 7.3 million fans. The single-season record is 8.4 million from 2017.

The two best teams in the standings so far are also the two biggest draws. The second-place LG Twins lead the way with 158,159 fans, and the league-leading SSG Landers have drawn 132,230 fans.

Overall, KBO teams have drawn 9,915 fans per game, up from 8,439 per game last season. (Yonhap)