September 30, 2016 12:04
Over 8 million spectators filled the stadiums to watch professional baseball games this season. This is the first time Korea's professional baseball league has reached the mark in its 35-year history.
The record turnout has been attributed to a combination of factors including the expansion to a 10-team league and the construction of new stadiums.
But most notably, it is due in great part to the growth in the number of female spectators. According to ticketing website Ticketlink, females accounted for 43 percent of all buyers last year.
Insiders believe women's interest in baseball began to pick up after the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, when the sport was added as an Olympic discipline, and the launch of the World Baseball Classic, an international baseball tournament.
"Interest in professional baseball went through a slump in the 2000s, but was rekindled by Korea's success in international games, boosting the sport's appeal among female fans," the Korea Baseball Organization said.
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