June 19, 2020 12:00
Korea's professional baseball season started on May 5, but games have been played in empty stadiums for over a month due to the lockdown. That has resulted in ticket and merchandise sales drying up.
Baseball teams say they will face serious financial problems if stadiums remain empty until next month.
Professional teams make around W50 billion a year and ticket and merchandise sales account for about W20 billion of that (US$1=W1,210).
Teams pay the salaries of their players from February to November, and a large proportion of them comes from ticket sales.
"It has become difficult to get sponsorship from businesses because of the coronavirus epidemic," a staffer with one team said. "If stadiums remain empty, we will hit the limits of our financial resources in July and August."
A source at another team said, "At this rate, we may be unable to pay even our players."
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