Baseball Attendance on Pace to Suffer Decline This Year


    September 28, 2018 11:44

    Korea's professional baseball league appears to suffer a setback in its ever-growing popularity this year as it is drawing worse-than-expected attendance numbers.

    The last 10 years have been the heyday of the Korea Baseball Organization league. The total number of spectators surpassed the 5-million mark for the first time in 2008. The 6-million mark was broken in 2011 with 6.81 million, and the 7-million mark was reached in 2012 with 7.15 million.

    There was a slight dip in 2013 and 2014 with the figure staying below 7 million, but with the addition of the 10th team in 2015, it went up again, setting a new record each year with 7.36 million in 2015, 8.33 million in 2016, and 8.4 million in 2017. For this year, the KBO set the goal of attracting 8.79 million spectators.

    Doosan Bears players wave to their fans after a game in Seoul on Tuesday. /Newsis

    However, that goal now seems impossible to reach. With 666 games played until Wednesday, the league has drawn 7.37 million people, averaging 11,073 per game, which is 600 fewer than last year's average.

    To reach the goal, it needs to lure 1.42 million people to the remaining 54 games, meaning at least 26,000 people should come to the stadium for each game. This does not seem attainable, given the size of stadiums and recent trends, suffering a first decline in attendance in five years since 2013. 

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