Asia,  Seoul,  South Korea,  TDM,  Travel Journal

How to attend a baseball game in Seoul (South Korea)?

After soccer in Argentina, American soccer in the Czech Republic, Thai boxing matches and sumo training in Japan, baseball in South Korea was discovered

Little known in France, baseball is the most popular sport in South Korea. It’s by seeing regular TV broadcasts that I thought I should try it

How can I find out the dates of the matches?

Baseball not being the most physical sport there is, there are games almost every day!

For the calendar, visit http://ticket.interpark.com/Contents/Sports

Teams are easily distinguishable with logos but use Google Translate to find out in which stadium the match is taking place

I’ve chosen a game on Saturday, telling myself that there will be more people and more atmosphere than a game during the week

Where do the matches take place?

There are at least two baseball stadiums in Seoul where championship games are played

  • The Jamsil Baseball stadium, a stadium with a capacity of 30,500 seats.
  • The Gocheok Sky Dome, a stadium with a capacity of 16,813 seats.

The Jamsil has the advantage of being a little more central. The Gocheok is more modern and has the advantage of being covered, to be preferred if the weather is bad

As for me, the Saturday game is at Jamsil Baseball stadium

So I attend the game between the Doosan Bears and NC Dinos

How to buy tickets?

It is possible to buy tickets on the above mentioned website. In Korean only unfortunately

I tried to buy tickets using Google Translate. Without success

Although the translation is understandable, there is a somewhat complicated authentication system to prove one’s identity. Not convinced that this is feasible for foreigners

In fact, I read on a blog that it was complicated, even for Koreans..

So I went directly to the venue 30 minutes before the start of the game and was able to buy tickets without any difficulty

Rates vary according to the sectors in the stadium

I had read before coming that the recommended places were in the red sector. I confirm that this is what you have to choose to get the most out of the atmosphere. The fans kops are located in the two red sectors and the cheerleaders animations as well

Unfortunately, I couldn’t buy “red” tickets. As the saleswoman did not speak English, I did not understand if it was sold out or if these tickets couldn’t be bought at the box office

I thus find myself with a ticket of the green sector, the least good places with a very modest price of 9 000 Wons

Around the stadium

The atmosphere is exactly like my idea of a baseball game in the United States. People come with family or friends to have fun, eat and drink

You can buy food and drink absolutely everywhere, the classic combo being beer + grilled chicken

While waiting for the game to start, people picnic on the ground on simple cardboard boxes, we experienced more glamour

To be able to participate, I buy myself “plastic French fries” (2000 Wons) to be able to make noise and participate in the atmosphere

Fans are lining up to get their jerseys flocked

And while walking around the stadium, I stumbled upon a player signing jerseys and balls, making selfies with the fans. Don’t ask me what this is all about, I have no idea! But the fans seem to be thrilled. I am surprised to see that the player has no escort, the atmosphere is very good

Not having understood which door I should enter by, I ask someone who tells me without difficulty that I am right in front of the right door

No search at the entrance, just leave bottles of more than one liter and cans. Large plastic cups are available so as not to spoil their precious containers

I enter the stadium and take a seat, I have the impression that the seats in my sector aren’t numbered and that the placement is free

In the stadium

I take advantage of the wait to read on wikipedia the rules of baseball because if I know 10% of them, it’s the maximum ^^

The sector I am in is clearly not the best one. Quite far from the game and the atmosphere. If you have the possibility to be in the red sector, it will be much better

Before the start of the game, everyone stands up for the national anthem, on the screen are shown images of the players in epic situations

The game is starting and for someone like me who is discovering this sport, you have to admit that it’s quite boring. Baseball is a very slow sport with little action. I understand better why they come with so much to drink and eat, it’s to pass the time ^^

In the kops it’s rather nice. The fans sing non-stop while dancing a choreography in a very organized way

Between each round and half round, the cheerleaders get busy. I’m a bit far away to enjoy the performance but it’s also broadcast on the giant screen

Speaking of giant screens, we can clearly feel the American influence, since the famous “dance time”, “kiss time” or other “beer time” are included, where fans who discover that they are being shown on the giant screen have to start dancing, kissing or finishing their beer as quickly as possible

Clearly, I’m too profane to enjoy the game and I leave after more than 2 hours of play in the 7th inning (out of 9), the score is still 0 to 0

Good to know, it is possible to leave the stadium momentarily and then come back, just ask for a small stamp on the hand

Conclusion

I clearly can’t say that I was excited about the baseball I was discovering. However, I do recommend going to a game if you have the opportunity. The experience is really local and the price is very modest. I went alone because Anh was a little bit sick, it’s not necessarily a good idea, baseball is an experience to be lived in a group. Really try to get a place in red sector, you will be in the heart of the atmosphere and closer to the action

 

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