This year, the official opening game of the U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) will be held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. The MLB Secretariat is holding opening games around the world to promote the globalization of baseball and the promotion of the MLB. It is the first time for the Major League to be held in Korea.헤라카지노주소
The MLB World Tour Seoul Series 2024 (hereinafter referred to as the Seoul Series) between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers will be held at 7:05 p.m. on March 20 and 21 at Gocheok Dome. Prior to the official opening series, San Diego and the Dodgers will also present four special games, two games each with Korean teams. A total of six games will be held at Gocheok Dome.
As superstars gather together to compete for skills, the condition of the stadium is very important. The MLB Secretariat sent a due diligence team to inspect the Gocheok Dome in August last year. The secretariat requested the Seoul Metropolitan Facilities Management Corporation, which manages the facilities of the Gocheok Dome, to have an environment where the stadium can play Major League games. After consultation with the Seoul Metropolitan Facilities Management Corporation, massive construction began after the 2023 season.
The Seoul Metropolitan Facilities Management Corporation had been planning to replace artificial grasses since May last year before the Major League secretariat visited the site. In early June, the company completed a plan to replace artificial grass. It then reported the Major League’s due diligence and the results of its meeting in early August. Some of the business plans were revised based on the findings from the advisory meeting and the Major League secretariat meeting in late September.
The project includes purchasing and installing artificial grass, disposal of old artificial grass, and ground maintenance. In addition, the safety budget repair and reinforcement cost set by the Seoul Metropolitan Facilities Management Corporation last year includes replacement of artificial grass as well as replacement of floodlights. In addition, repairs to mound, fence and clubhouse facilities are also underway. The construction period is scheduled from November last year to early March this year.
Gocheok Dome was completed on September 15, 2015. Since 2016, the KBO League Kiwoom Heroes have used Gocheok Dome as their home stadium. According to the Kiwoom club, this is the first time to replace artificial grass in Gocheok Dome. The “Seoul Series” became the catalyst, allowing more than just grass replacement.
When the construction is completed, Gocheok Dome will transform into a stadium equivalent to a Major League Baseball stadium. It is expected to be a boon to all 10 KBO League teams including Kiwoom, the home team. Notably, it is an opportunity for players who are aiming to become the next Korean Major Leaguer after Kim Ha-sung, Ko Woo-suk (San Diego), and Lee Jung-hoo (San Francisco Giants) to experience Major League-style stadiums in advance.
Expectations are also rising for the Seoul Series. The Dodgers posted several photos of the inside and outside of the Gocheok Dome on its official social networking service account on Wednesday. It posted the exterior of the Gocheok Dome, images under construction, electronic boards with posters of the Seoul Series, and photos of baseball fans posing in front of the Gocheok Dome with Dodgers’ hats and cheering tools. It also added a comment saying, “See you soon, Seoul” and a Korean national flag emoticon.
A large number of Korean and Japanese superstars will be dispatched to the “Seoul Series.” San Diego has South Korean major leaguers Kim Ha-sung and Ko Woo-seok. Infield multiplayer Kim Ha-sung was active last year, winning the Gold Glove in the National League utility category. Right-handed closer Ko Woo-seok signed a two-year contract with San Diego for a total of $4.5 million (about 5.9 billion won) on the 4th. It included a mutual option for the 2026 season to extend the contract after mutual agreement between the player and the club.
In addition, right-handed starter Yu Darvish from Japan has been playing in the San Diego uniform since 2021. Left-handed closer Matsui entered the big league on the 24th of last month by signing a five-year contract worth 28 million dollars (about 36.5 billion won) with San Diego. It has been reported that the deal includes opt-out after the end of the 2026 season and 2027 season (the contract was canceled due to agreement between the team and the player), and option of club in the fifth year of the contract.
Two new Japanese Major Leaguers have joined the Dodgers. They are superstars Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Ohtani became a free agent after the end of last season and signed a mega 10-year contract worth 700 million U.S. dollars with the Dodgers. Right-handed starter Yamamoto announced an official contract with the Dodgers on April 28. He made his first big league debut by signing a 12-year contract worth a total of 325 million dollars.
Details such as ticket sales for the “Seoul Series” will be announced later on Coupang Play. The “Seoul Series” match will be broadcast live by OTT platform “Coupang Play” in Korea and sports channel “ESPN” in the U.S.