Catching a Game at Jamsil Baseball Stadium, Seoul, Korea
Jamsil Stadium is probably the most famous baseball stadium in Korea. I'm not sure if that's really saying much, but I'd guess than 90% of foreigners who see a baseball game in Korea see a game here. That's certainly due to two main factors: it's located in Seoul, the largest city in Korea, and it has a game almost every day of the week.
The stadium is shared between the Doosan Bears and the LG Twins, and one team is always "away" while the other is "home". The KBO schedule provides 5-6 games per week. I happened to see a game between the Bears and the Twins, with the Twins being the "hosting" team.
I arrived a bit late on a weekend game, and had to buy my ticket from a scalper. But, I still paid only face value because the game was underway and the guy would have probably never sold his ticket anyway. I got to see almost all of the game. I don't think I saw an entire game during my visit to Korea, mainly because I arrived late or had to leave early.
I thought I'd include this image which was taken with the HDR feature on my camera. I tried a few settings I had never used before and HDR isn't good for action. The player is literally falling to pieces!
I also tested the high-speed system though I started with a slower shutter speed, so the pictures are a little blurry in some places - note this pitcher's foot.
This shot is a bit better, as I upped the shutter speed. I couldn't help the angle, due to my seat.
I was located on the "visitors" side of the stadium, though I think there were more Bears fans in attendance than Twins fans. In Japan, the cheering squad is large, coordinated, and well-outfitted, and the fans all participate almost religiously.
This is a good example of the cheering squad in Korea - a small group of guys with team gear that you couldn't really identify when they weren't cheering. They were quite loud, though, and many of the fans would cheer along.
I could take a walk around most of the stadium, though I couldn't get to the outfield fair-territory seating here. This is the farthest I could shoot down the left field line, just as the sun was getting ready to set.
Here's a look at the seating bowl on the left side.
There are a few concourses behind/beneath the stands, plus a walkway along the top. This was a great way to get around the stadium and still watch the game. Lots of people brought blankets or tarps and sat here behind the top row of seats.
The view from behind the plate, from the top row. It's a nice stadium and the open outfield gives a nice view of the public housing and mountains in the distance.
Olympic Stadium is visible from back here.
Behind the first base dugout.
And here is the farthest I could get down the right field line.
A view of the outfield from the right field line.
The stadium under the lights, with twilight in the background.
Walking around the stadium briefly the following day (when I took pictures of Olympic Stadium and the Star Walk) I came across this marker in what would be outside the outfield. I'm guessing it's where a home run cleared the stadium and hit the concourse outside.
The nearby subway station has these cool themed seats. In this general area, there's also a store that sells lots of baseball goods, and during the baseball season it's probably a tourist's best bet to get a bunch of different teams' souvenirs - though you might have to settle with team logo balls for most teams.
This is the ramp leading up to my section. If you have an outfield ticket (in fair territory), your gate is close to the stadium, but for most people, the entrances are around the sides or back of the stadium.
This is the back of the stadium. The top is at about the same location as where I took the photo of the Olympic stadium.
You can bring food into the stadium, and a Burger King and KFC are available both inside and outside of the park.
There is a very large number of specialty restaurants in Jamsil Baseball Stadium, so it's possible to find all kinds of interesting Korean and international foods. As you can see, they are grouped together, though.
You aren't able to walk all the way around the stadium at this lower level, and there's a gate right in front of me where I took this photo. But it shows you what these "nice" seats look like.
I tried different beers at different ballparks. At Jamsil, it was Max. As advertised, it does have a rich taste compared to other Korean beers but it doesn't stand a chance against a good high-quality beer.
The stadium was packed - it was a sell-out game after all - and the crowd was really into it for most of the game. Later on, the Bears took a very large lead and the Twins fans hit the exits. Seeing a game during the week shouldn't be a problem, but expect the possibility of a sell-out at nice weekend games. I'm sure scalpers are ready for sell outs - I was approached by four or five "entrepreneurs" within five minutes.
Tickets start around $10. The stadium is located just outside exits 5 and 6 of Sports Complex Station on Line 2.