The Korea Herald


Twins, Bears to move to Olympic Stadium

By Lee Jaeeun

Published : July 9, 2024 - 14:59

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This image of an envisioned domed baseball park is provided by the Seoul city government. This image of an envisioned domed baseball park is provided by the Seoul city government.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced Tuesday that the Seoul Olympic Main Stadium would serve as a temporary baseball venue for the next five years as construction is set to begin on the new Jamsil Dome Stadium.

The arrangement is part of a broader urban development plan unveiled in September 2023, which includes the construction of the Jamsil Sports MICE Complex in southeastern Seoul. The project will expand the city's capacity for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE), previously concentrated in Gangnam's Coex.

The highlight of the complex is the new dome stadium, set to transform industrial and cultural activities south of the Han River. The Jamsil Baseball Stadium, currently home to Seoul-based teams the LG Twins and Doosan Bears, will be reconstructed into a state-of-the-art, 30,000-seat dome stadium, scheduled to open in March 2032. This venue will not only host major international sporting events but also accommodate large-scale performances throughout the year, ensuring stable operations regardless of weather conditions, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

Consequently, during the five seasons from 2027 to 2031, the two baseball clubs will relocate to Jamsil Olympic Stadium, Seoul city officials said. This decision was made following extensive discussions with key stakeholders from the baseball community, including the Korea Baseball Organization, LG Twins and Doosan Bears. The city had initially considered relocating the teams to Mokdong Baseball Stadium and Gocheok Sky Dome in other parts of Seoul but ultimately chose the Seoul Olympic Main Stadium based on the clubs' preferences.

With a renovation budget between 30 billion won ($21.7 million) to 40 billion won, the stadium's running tracks and football field will be replaced by a baseball field, with dugouts and other amenities to be added.

Initially, the stadium will provide over 18,000 seats, focusing on optimal viewing conditions around the field. Depending on safety assessments, seating capacity can be expanded to over 30,000 for major games and postseason events by opening the upper tiers.

To ensure spectators' safety and comfort, comprehensive measures and operational systems will be implemented. Entry and exit routes will include new pathways near Baekjegobun-ro and improvements around Bongeunsa-ro, further enhancing the pedestrian environment, the officials from the Seoul Metropolitan Government said.

"We pledge to ensure the temporary baseball venue meets the highest standards of safety and convenience for spectators. Additionally, we are committed to the swift and safe construction of the Jamsil Dome Stadium as part of the broader Jamsil Sports MICE Complex project," Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon said.