Saturday afternoon, inside the subway you can see many people and kids in company of their dads wearing their caps and team shirts; Its baseball day at Jamsil Stadium. Located near the Sport Complex subway station lies Jamsil Stadium just next to the Seoul Olympic Stadium. Home of the LG Twins and Doosan Bears. This stadium can hold 30,265 fans and by the time we got in was almost full.
Last time I went to a ball game was more than 15 years ago and for a long time I have been wanting to go to a game. I was really surprised to discover that prizes are not too expensive, in fact my ticket was 10,000 KRW which is about 10 USD for a professional league game I think is a great price. I wonder if other sports also have good prices, I can see myself going often to games.
Its really interesting seeing how game culture is so different from back home.
- Food. In Korea you can bring-in your own food, drinks, including beer to the games. I was shocked when I discovered this. Back home this is completely forbidden as companies say it impacts on revenue for the stores inside the stadium. Even if you don’t bring your own snacks you can conveniently get them at the stadium. Ex. outside you can buy full-sized pizzas or even a full set of fried chicken. Inside you can find KFC, Burguer King, other fast food stalls and even convenience stores. I was told they didn’t sold hot dogs at baseball games (and in general in Korea), so I got mine before getting there from a hot dog place I know.
- Security. While back home every person is inspected for concealed weapons or dangerous goods here you just show up with your ticket and you’re in.
- Souvenirs. Inside the stadium you can see several souvenir shops where you can buy team goods and stuff. It was nice to see that even original team gear is not as expensive as it is back home. Next time I go I’ll probably get something jajaja.
- Home run culture. When a person catches either a home run or a foul ball then the crowd will pressure the person to give the ball to a kid close by.
- Cheering. I knew before hand that koreans had a unique cheering style. Some friends that had opportunity to come when the football world cup was held told me about that, however I have been able to experience this for the first time.
- All team fans know their songs. Songs also include dance moves.
- Each player has a unique cheer song, every time a player’s turn comes the crowd will sing his custom cheer song.
- My korean proficiency is still on diapers however its seems to be that fans show respect to the other team fans during the whole game. This is quite impressive since I’m used to the swearing and provocative cheering of the Mexican Soccer leagues.
- Umpires – Referees never receive insults from the crowd.
- No one tosses beer or other liquids during the game (at least not intentionally).
- There is a space reserved for the cheering team, which composes of a man telling the crowd stuff and a group of girls dancing to the sound of current trendy k-pop songs.
The game was great. Lotte Giants Vs. LG Twins. I think I like more Asian leagues than MLB as you never know whats going to happen. Lets put it this way, mistakes happen more frequently which can turn over the game for one of the teams. This game included so much adrenaline. Our team (Lotte) was first scoring on the board and was ahead by 2 points. Later Twins came back with 4 points, on the 9th inning the game was tied which made Lotte fans go crazy. An extra inning had to be played in which Giants scored 2 points to set the victory. Not bad for my first ball game in a while at the end my hearth was pounding by the excitement and I even found myself cheering the team.