Posted November. 04, 2008 09:27,
Five million fans attended pro baseball games this season, the second-largest figure in Korean league history, while playoff ticket sales reached a record high.
14 games were held this season, lower than 20 in 2000 and 15 in 2004, but the higher attendance and ticket prices helped the league rake in the largest revenues in its history.
Revenues shot up 48 percent to 5.36 billion won (4.19 million U.S. dollars) from 3.6 billion won (2.85 million dollars) last year.
Moreover, 3.2 billion won (2.5 million dollars) of surplus remained even after excluding postseason costs such as stadium fees, which account for 40 percent of playoff revenue.
The biggest difference this year was the awarding of 25 percent of the revenues to the regular season champion. The SK Wyverns will get 800 million won (633,000 dollars) for having the best record and an additional 1.2 billion won (950,000 dollars) for winning the Korean Series.
SKs ticket sales for 63 home games reached 2.5 billion won (1.97 million dollars). The team earned 1.14 billion won (870,000 dollars) for winning the championship last year to become the first team to earn more than one billion won.
Though SK took 62.5 percent of league revenues, three other teams also earned sizable sums. The Korean Series loser Doosan Bears will get 600 million won (475,000 dollars), exceeding its record of 571.2 million won (452,000 dollars) last year.
The Samsung Lions will take 360 million won (285,000 dollars) and the Lotte Giants 240 million won. Bonuses had been paid to the two teams in the Korean Series until 1990, but the semifinalists were included a year later.