Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon visited Rogers Center, the home stadium of Toronto Blue Jays, where Ryu Hyun-jin plays on the 17th. Rogers Centre, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a large domed stadium with about 41,000 seats. Mayor Oh Se-hoon, who visited Rogers Center and several surrounding facilities and conducted due diligence, announced his plan to create a world-class “Sports and MICE complex,” including a dome stadium that replaces Jamsil Stadium in Jamsil, Seoul, where Jamsil Stadium is currently located. 스포츠토토
Jamsil Stadium is an open stadium with 23,750 seats and opened in 1982 and is currently used as the home stadium of LG and Doosan. It is famous as a symbol of Korean professional baseball because of its huge size, which is not pushed back at all compared to Major League Baseball stadiums.
However, Jamsil Stadium, which opened in the first year of professional baseball (1982), has constantly been argued that it needs to be remodeled or reconstructed as the second oldest stadium in the KBO League after Daejeon Hanwha Life Eagles Park (opened in 1964). And this time, it was included in the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s “Sports and MICE Complex” development plan, finally creating a new stadium. The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to build a 30,000-seat dome stadium on the site where Jamsil Stadium is currently located.
However, if you look at the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s announcement plan, you can see that there are still unresolved issues. The immediate problem is securing an alternative stadium for LG and Doosan to play during the six-year construction period. From 2025 to 2031, when the construction of the dome stadium begins, KBO, LG, and Doosan wanted to play at Jamsil Stadium, where their existence was determined through remodeling. However, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that Jamsil Sports Complex cannot be used during the construction period for the environment in which dome stadiums, convention centers, and hotels are built at the same time and for the safety of baseball fans.
If Jamsil Sports Complex is not available, there is not a proper stadium for LG and Doosan to play. Gocheok Sky Dome, which is currently used by Kiwoom Heroes as its home stadium, and Mokdong Stadium, where amateur baseball games are being held, are mentioned as candidates, but it is not easy for LG and Doosan to accept this plan. The Seoul Metropolitan Government said it should also consider playing games in the Seoul metropolitan area, including SSG Landers Field in Incheon and KT Wiz Park in Suwon, but discussions between clubs are not expected to be easy.
The second problem is the type of newly built dome stadium. A KBO official said, “We understand that it has not been decided how Jamsil Dome Stadium will be built yet. KBO is trying to convey the position of baseball. We will continue to hold consultations with the Seoul Metropolitan Government with LG and Doosan, he explained.
When the Seoul Metropolitan Government first envisioned a plan to create a “Sports and MICE Complex,” it came up with a plan to move the new baseball stadium to the Han River, not the current location of Jamsil Stadium. However, the KBO and other baseball circles strongly insisted that a new baseball stadium should be built in the current location where public transportation is convenient, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government accepted this and the current plan came out.
However, when building a baseball stadium at its current location, the construction of a dome stadium was inevitable due to noise and light pollution affecting surrounding facilities such as convention centers and hotels. For this reason, it is reported that the Seoul Metropolitan Government has also changed its direction from an open stadium to a dome stadium.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has yet to officially announce whether to build Jamsil Dome Stadium as a closed dome or a retractable dome. However, the current plan seems to be leaning toward building a closed dome. According to the bird’s eye view released by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the appearance of the new dome stadium is all depicted similar to the closed dome.
In the case of building a new baseball stadium as a dome stadium, it is a global trend to build all of them as retractable domes. The most recently constructed Globe Life Field (opened in 2020), home of the Texas Rangers in Major League Baseball, and Escon Field Hokkaido (opened in 2023), home of the Nippon Ham Fighters in the Japanese professional baseball league, were both constructed as retractable dome stadiums. In the case of Major League Baseball, Tropicana Field (opened in 1986), the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, is the only closed dome. The Rogers Centre (opened in 1989), visited by Mayor Oh Se-hoon, is famous for being the world’s first retractable dome.
Escon Field, which will be most compared to Jamsil Dome Stadium, is similar to Jamsil Dome Stadium in many ways. Unlike the Sapporo Dome, which Nippon Ham previously used, Escon Field, located in Kitahroshima City near Sapporo, is a stadium built as part of the real estate development project in Kitahroshima City. The construction background is similar to that of Jamsil Dome Stadium, which will be built as part of the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s plan to create a “Sports and MICE complex.” In addition, Escon Field, like Jamsil Dome Stadium, is a 30,000-seat stadium, and construction costs 60 billion yen (about 539 billion won). It should be considered that the yen’s exchange rate is currently weak, but there is no significant difference from the 500 billion won announced by the Seoul Metropolitan Government for the construction of Jamsil Dome Stadium.
Jamsil Dome Stadium has an advantage over Escon Field in terms of construction cost. Unlike Escon Field, which was newly built by securing the site, there is no cost to purchase the site because the existing baseball stadium is dismantled and constructed.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said all construction costs of the dome stadium will be made through private investment. Hanwha Consortium, which is in charge of this development project, will get the right to operate the stadium for 40 years instead of investing all construction costs. There is no cost for LG and Doosan. For this reason, it may not be easy to consult with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Hanwha Consortium to change the plan from a closed dome to a retractable dome.
However, Jamsil Dome Stadium is likely to become a stadium symbolizing Korean professional baseball by inheriting the current status of Jamsil Stadium in the future. If Jamsil Dome Stadium, which will be the third one to be built after Gocheok Dome and Cheongradom (planned to open in 2028), is built as a closed dome, it may be almost impossible to build a retractable dome in Korea in the future.