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Seoul to build domed baseball stadium, massive convention center in Jamsil

By Lee Jung-joo

Published : Sept. 18, 2023 - 18:32

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A projected image of the Jamsil Sports Complex, including a domed baseball stadium and a convention center (Seoul Metropolitan Government) A projected image of the Jamsil Sports Complex, including a domed baseball stadium and a convention center (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

A domed baseball stadium and convention center will be built in Jamsil as part of Seoul City’s initiative to develop the area in Songpa-gu, southern Seoul, the city government said Monday.

As part of Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon’s eight-day trip to Canada and the US, Oh announced the city’s plans to build a domed baseball stadium and convention center after visiting the Rogers Centre in Toronto on Saturday.

The Rogers Centre is a multi-purpose baseball stadium and is home to the Toronto Blue Jays, where Korean baseball player Ryu Hyun-jin is based. It has a total of 41,000 seats and is also famous for the Toronto Marriot City Centre Hotel located inside the stadium, allowing guests to watch baseball games from inside their rooms.

The city government plans to develop a baseball stadium modeled after the Rogers Centre and hopes to host international sports events, as well as domestic ones. Along with more than 30,000 seats, the stadium will be built in the form of a dome so that sports games can be held without being affected by weather conditions. During the offseason, other events such as large-scale performances can be held inside the stadium.

Inside the stadium, a concourse that stretches around the entire stadium and premium box seats will be installed. Like the Rogers Centre, the city government also plans to build a hotel inside the stadium to provide a unique experience to the stadium’s visitors.

A projected view of the inside of the domed baseball stadium, scheduled to be built by 2031 (Seoul Metropolitan Government) A projected view of the inside of the domed baseball stadium, scheduled to be built by 2031 (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

Oh also announced the city government’s plans to build a convention center that is 2.5 times bigger than the Coex Convention and Exhibition Center in Gangnam, southern Seoul. Oh will also visit the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on Tuesday for inspiration.

The Jacob K. Javits Center is one of the largest and most active convention centers in New York, and has contributed to revitalizing the city’s tourism industry, as well as its accommodation and commercial industries, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

The convention center that the Seoul municipal government plans to build in Jamsil will be 10,000 square meters bigger than the convention center in New York. The city government also expects the new convention center to be an industrial facility that provides Seoul with an economic boost.

Oh also visited Waterfront Toronto on Saturday to seek inspiration for creating a waterfront ecological and leisure space in Jamsil by utilizing the nearby Han River by 2029. Currently, the Waterfront Toronto project looks to redevelop the underutilized area around Toronto's Lake Ontario shore into a neighborhood that includes natural wildlife habitats, housing, public art and places to work and relax.

The city government plans to finalize its comprehensive negotiations and sign an implementation agreement at the end of next year after consulting with related organizations like the Ministry of Economy and Finance by 2024. The current Jamsil Baseball Stadium will be demolished after the 2025 pro baseball season, with a plan to break ground in 2026 and complete the construction of both the baseball stadium and the convention center by 2031.

"With a new domed baseball stadium, convention center and waterfront space, Jamsil will be (transformed) into a new place with different attractions day and night," said Oh. "Once Jamsil Sports Complex redevelops, it will be able to serve as a new gateway to welcome more tourists to Seoul."