In the second edition of Ballparks around the world, I will pay attention to the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. This first domed stadium in Korea opened its doors in 2015 and is one of the newest stadiums in the world of baseball.
The Gocheok Sky Dome is the home field of the Nexen Heroes and is located in Seoul. The stadium is a multi use venue. Next to baseball it is used for soccer, concerts and other events.
The stadium was opened in 2015 and is one of the newest ballparks in the world and the newest in Korea. The capacity of the ballpark is rather small with 18,000. But this capacity can be extended to 22,000 with concerts.
This building has two basement floors that offers room for a swimming pool, a gym, a soccer field and a basketball field, all to be used by the citizens of Seoul.
Two architect companies built the ballpark: Ilgeon Architects and
ATEC Architects. The design of the stadium is very futuristic and nice looking as it represents a dynamic wave. The inside though is rather hideous. The skeleton on the inside of the stadium is not covered at all and it gives the interior of the stadium an unfinished look.
The ground breaking of this multipurpose venue was in 2009 and it took six years to complet the construction. The ballpark has a translucent roof with sound proof panels that effectively block the noise from the stadium.
The dimensions of the ballpark part are 325 feet in left field, 400 feet in center field and right field measures 325 feet from home plate, which makes the playing surface perfectly symmetrical.
The ballpark will serve as the home of group D in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. This group will contain host Korea, Chinese Taipei, Israel and Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Due to constant changes during the construction, the initial estimated cost rose from 40.8 billion Won to 194.8 billion Won (1 USD = 1,184 Won).
According to the website of the stadium, the Nexen Heroes will be playing in the facility for the 2016 and 2017 season. The intention is that the team will call Gocheok Sky Dome its home for good, but there are still some unsettled issues with the Seoul Metropolitan Government about the relocation and fees for playing in the stadium.
The seats are nice with built in cup holders. The upper tier lacks a little atmosphere. At every level there are concession stands with a big variety of food.