South Korea to set up e-sports stadium, park near Seoul

South Korea to set up e-sports stadium, park near Seoul

World eSports Challenge, an international e-sports event for amateurs, was held in Gyeonggi province in May. (Photo by Gyeonggi province via Pulse)
World eSports Challenge, an international e-sports event for amateurs, was held in Gyeonggi province in May. (Photo by Gyeonggi province via Pulse)

South Korea is building a stadium and park devoted to e-sports in Pangyo, south of Seoul, befitting its global reputation as the country of eSports.

Gyeonggi province said on Monday that it will build an e-sports stadium in Seongnam, the second largest city in the province, after it was evaluated as the best location among four satellite cities that participated in a bid to create the venue. 

E-sports raises hopes to be the next Taekwondo-like sure medal win for Koreans in Olympics as it was held as a demonstration event for the first time in the Asian Games in Indonesia last year. 

Professional gamers already earn millions of dollars in South Korea, and eSports player is more popular than soccer or any other traditional sports players among the young, coming in eighth professions in an education ministry poll on elementary pupils. 

Kim Yong, spokesperson for Gyeonggi province, said that among four cities that submitted bids – Bucheon, Seongnam, Ansan, and Yongin, Seongnam received the highest score from the contest evaluation committee. 

Seongnam City was highly evaluated for its close proximity to Seoul, the symbol Pangyo holds, concentration of information technology and game companies in the area, the city’s will to promote the project and its outstanding preparation capability, high understanding of the project, and its detailed project plans proposed to the committee. 

The 29.6 billion won (770 million baht) eSports stadium will be built on investment of 10 billion won from the provincial government, 15 billion won from the city government, and 4.6 billion won from the private sector. The venue will be built on 6,959 square metre area of a children’s park inside Pangyo Techno Valley 1 in Sampyeong-dong, Bundang district in Seongnam. The stadium – with total floor area of 8,500 square metres – will have three floors and above and one floor under ground. 

The building will have a 400-seat main stadium and a 50-seat sub stadium, with an area for professional gamers, a PC room, a studio, a multi-purpose complex, a gift shop, and drop-in center for game addiction prevention. 

The e-sports stadium will also have a facility where 1,500 audiences will be able to view online sports game. The provincial government will also build a 12-metre high and 25 metre long large media wall and terrace seats outside surrounding the stadium by 2025. 

Gyeonggi province, meanwhile, will sign a business agreement with the city by September and provide related administrative support and budget so that the city will be able to complete construction by March 2022. 

The plan announced on Monday comes after Gyeonggi province said in October last year that it will spend 13.4 billion won over four years from 2019 to nurture eSports industry. Of the budget, 10 billion won will be spent over four years in creating an eSports industry ecosystem, 2.08 billion won in expanding base for e-sports culture, and 1.32 billion won in establishing a system such as training programs for professional gamers and related industry talents. 

Seongnam City also plans to put out efforts to expand the game industry market, such as by participating in bids to host e-sports events, running an international e-sports league, and creating a team of professional gamers. 

Once the e-sports stadium is built, the city projected that about 128,000 gamers and fans from home and abroad will visit the venue every year and spend 3.45 billion won in total to purchase gifts and pay for admission fees. 

The new e-sports stadium is estimated to create an indirect economic effect, including 61.96 billion won in production, 347 new jobs, 11.2 billion won in income, 22.7 billion won in added value, and 2.76 billion won in tax revenue. 



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