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The Lee Jong Bum Effect ``3000+ Crowd``

Posted August. 02, 2001 09:19,   


The foundations are shaking as ``Nuclear Storm`` Lee Jong Bum (31, Kia Tigers) returns to pro baseball on the 1st at Inchon SK.

Fans have been waiting with abated breath for Lee’s comeback who captivated not only his home fans in Kwangju but all baseball fans as the `National Star.` Lee`s powerful shoulder whose first base throw reaches up to 140km, whose 29 consecutive steals attest to his quicksilver speed, and whose explosive batting create an elegantly powerful play style has fans across the nation lining up to catch a glimpse.

Following this the Korean Baseball Office (KBO) is expecting Lee to exponentially increase the number of baseball fans. How many, then, will he draw?

A survey of the 1992 Hae Tae season cites 39, 871 admissions (6204 per game) but rose to 443, 841 (7045 per game) in 1993 after Lee`s entry, an increase of about 800 per game. However sports commentators agree that 2000 or more fans per game trailed Lee during away games. Since Lee is coming back after a four year period, it is probable that he will draw larger crowd.

``It’s hard to know the definite numbers but seeing what a `trophy` Lee is, he may draw around 3000 per game,`` predicts Kia Public Relations person Yoon Ki Doo.

In the post-season, Kia is advertised as entering as number four, contributing to an explosive increase in percentage of home crowds up to 147 percent. Add Lee to this and you have some powerful fuel for the crowd fire.

The `Lee Effect will certainly be big outside the home stadium as well. The recorded total 1, 937,385 from July 31 stopped short of a 6% increase but predictions project at least 10 percent increase in the near future. One can think of nothing better than this hot news to bring an end to the recent lull in national baseball.