In early and mid-March, the Korean baseball world was in great shock.
This is because the Korean national baseball team was eliminated in the first round of the World Baseball Classic (WBC).
After losing the first game against Australia, which had to be won unconditionally, they lost 4-13 in the match against Korea and Japan, the ‘rival of destiny’. He won the rest of the Czech Republic and China, but ended up with the bitter result of being eliminated in the first round.
Above all, during the game, I felt once again the position of Korean baseball on the world stage.
Fans were also very disappointed. Korean baseball has been playing badly for fans in recent years. In 2021, the league was buzzing due to the violation of the Corona 19 quarantine rules, and suffered a no-medal humiliation at the Tokyo Olympics.
In that sense, the WBC was an opportunity to bring back the popularity of baseball. However, such rosy expectations did not materialize. It was a big bad news ahead of the season opening on April 1st.
However, in the exhibition game, I couldn’t see the angry fan spirit. In the exhibition game that started on the 13th and ended on the 28th, 168,050 spectators visited the baseball field.
In particular, in the paid weekend games, a total of 53,577 spectators visited the baseball field for 10 games. An average of 5,000 people per game paid to watch the demonstration game. In particular, 8,443 baseball fans filled the stands at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, where the match between Samsung and KT was held on the 19th.
Since March was still chilly, demonstration games were held only in most provinces, and Gwangju Stadium attracted more than 3,300 spectators on average during seven games, proving that KIA is a popular team. Lotte’s home, Sajik Stadium, also recorded an average of 3,100 spectators during 10 games. Daegu recorded about 2400 spectators per game.
If you limit it to the weekend, it exceeded 5,000 per game with a total of 53,577 in 10 games. Considering the average attendance of 8,439 during the regular season last year, this is not a small figure. Baseball field officials who predicted that baseball’s popularity would shrink in the aftermath of the WBC also responded that it was unexpected.
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause, but there are commonalities when you listen to the opinions of the officials of each club.
First is the weather effect. This year, unlike previous years, it has been warm since February. In February and March, cherry blossoms bloomed quickly as clear and warm days continued under the influence of high pressure. As a result, cherry blossoms in the Seoul area bloomed on the 25th. It was the second earliest ever since 1922 when cherry blossoms began to be observed. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, it was observed 10 days earlier than last year (April 4) and 14 days earlier than normal (April 8). 먹튀검증
As the weather warmed, the number of weekend outings also increased. Demonstration games held on weekends are held for a fee, but the entrance fee is up to 5,000 won, which is not a big burden. It was a perfect entertainment for those who go out on a weekend outing to the baseball field.