Baseball fans will finally be allowed back to stadiums 82 days after the league resumed in May. “Baseball fans are hoping to return to stadiums after having to watch games online,” South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during a government meeting on COVID-19 countermeasures on Friday. “A limited number of people will be allowed into stadiums on condition that quarantine measures are strictly followed in and outside the stadiums.”
The Korea Baseball Organizations (KBO) games, which have been played without fans since May 5, will welcome fans back to stadiums starting from Sunday. Only 10 percent of the stadium capacity will be allowed into stadiums. Korea Professional Football League (K League) will also welcome fans back to stadiums starting from next Saturday. The number of audience will gradually be increased depending on the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak. But regions that are currently under a Level 2 social distancing scheme, including Gwangju and South Jeolla Province, will be allowed to have audience at stadiums after their level is downgraded.
Fans will be able to watch the first professional baseball games in the stands after months between LG and Doosan at the Jamsil Stadium, Lotte and Kiwoom at the Gocheok Stadium, and NC and KT at the Suwon Stadium on Sunday. Tickets will be available online on a reservation website from Saturday. A total of 2,400 spectators will be allowed in the Jamsil Stadium and 2,100 in the Suwon KT Wiz Park. Sunday’s match between Samsung and Kia will be played without an audience since the city of Gwangju is maintaining a Level 2 social distancing scheme at least until Wednesday. The Hanwha Eagles has decided to allow spectators after Monday as the city of Daejeon is imposing a strict social distancing campaign until Sunday.
As fans are allowed back in the stands, it will help professional baseball clubs in financial difficulties. Clubs reportedly have lost an average of 100 million won per game without earnings from admissions. Clubs, which have concession rights at ballparks, could not earn earnings from concession sales since stores did not open without an audience.
Bae-Jung Kim firstname.lastname@example.org