A lot of games have been canceled this year. This will continue to be a problem.”
On August 29, when the KBO announced the schedule for the remaining games in 2023, a veteran front office member of one club said that the schedule for the remaining games this season was particularly bad. He said he felt a lot of emotions. There may be differences depending on the club, but the feeling is generally correct. In fact, this year, more games than usual were canceled due to rain or ground conditions. Because of this, it was inevitable to organize a double header even with the reserve days packed in. Even so, the regular season will last until at least October 10th. Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain anymore.스포츠토토
Some are criticizing that the cancellation of games early in the season was hasty. However, if you look at the circumstances of each day, there were reasons for cancellation. There were many cases where the start of maintenance was meaningless due to continued rain forecast, or unavoidable cancellation due to poor stadium conditions due to heavy rain. Sometimes decisions have to be made quickly before fans even get to the stadium. We do not cancel games that can proceed safely.
The problem lies ahead. The prevailing view is that the onslaught of climate change will become more severe. As the environment is destroyed, humanity is faced with unpredictable weather that has never been experienced before. Summer was particularly hot in the Northern Hemisphere this year as well. Not only our country but also other countries were at a boiling point. In the past, there was a concept of rainy season, but these days, it is not necessarily the case. Localized heavy rain that is difficult to forecast is pouring down. Baseball, which is closely related to the weather, is also bound to be greatly affected.
No one knows how this trend will progress. However, it is roughly expected that it will get worse. If so, it means that the professional baseball season must have such a tight schedule of remaining games every year. Considering the professional baseball industry has already grown to fit the 144-game schedule, reducing the number of games makes no realistic sense.
If so, there are two main ways. There is a law to temporarily change the way the league is played, such as scheduling Monday games in the early part of the season when the weather is not hot. There may be a lot of backlash on the field, but it is better than having a doubleheader at the end of the season. Variables in ranking battles are also reduced. Fundamentally, the answer is to build more dome stadiums that are not affected by the weather. Even if it’s not canceled due to rain, Korea’s summer weather continues to get hotter. Fans want a more comfortable space.
Among the 9 stadiums currently used by 10 clubs, Gocheok Sky Dome, the home stadium of Kiwoom, is a dome stadium. It has suffered from the stigma of being a ‘half-dome’, but when you go in the summer, there is no paradise like this. Since it is not affected by the weather, it is convenient for teams to calculate schedules. It is also a stadium that visiting team players eagerly await while spending their summer schedule. Fans can also enjoy watching the game. This is the power of the dome stadium.
Realistically, it is impossible to build dome stadiums all over the country. It is expensive to build and expensive to maintain. It is not profitable to play only professional baseball. If there is no proper demand, it goes straight to the hippopotamus that eats taxes. So, there have been numerous discussions about a dome stadium so far, but they all fell through. This is because when I tapped the calculator, I couldn’t get an answer.
However, there is no need for all nine stadiums to be domes. The US is not like that either. Officials predict, “Even if there are only three dome stadiums, the schedule will definitely be completed more quickly. There is a big difference between playing at most one game during the rainy season and playing up to three games.” Seokmin Yoon’s ‘Sporttime Baseball’ crew also said, “With about three, players can feel that the dome stadium will return often.”
The reason I mention ‘three’ is because it is a realistic possibility. Gwangju, Daegu, and Changwon have already been newly built in an open format. Daejeon is also being built in an open style. The resignation was also decided to be open. There is nothing we can do about these five stadiums. However, there is a dome stadium in Gocheok. And SSG is exciting baseball fans with its grand ambitions. It was decided to build a dome stadium in Cheongna, Incheon. Construction will begin with the goal of the opening ceremony in 2028. And the dome stadium spark is alive in Jamsil, which is scheduled to be developed as a complex space.
Seoul, the largest city in Korea, where all major functions are concentrated, and one of the largest cities in the world, is a huge market that can create demand for dome stadiums. Not only baseball but also cultural events are concentrated here. Although it may be expensive to build, there is no doubt that it is a market that can be utilized most effectively. Although there is a complex relationship between the developer and the Seoul Metropolitan Government, it is known that LG and Doosan are also interested in the construction of a dome stadium. It has been confirmed that Seoul City’s will to pursue this project is relatively strong.
The construction of Jamsil’s new stadium is such a complex matter that only the blueprints and plans have been revised several times so far. This is because it is a large-scale project that involves not only building a baseball stadium but also organizing surrounding facilities at once. There are so many things to worry about that I still tend to wander around. While baseball officials are watching closely, some are saying that public discussion at the KBO level is now necessary.