Few experts predicted that there would be talk of breaking through ‘8 million spectators’ ahead of the opening of the 2023 KBO League. Even among some club officials, a voice leaked out saying, “Even if Corona 19 is released, it is wrong this year.”온라인카지노
Professional baseball, with various bad news, predicted the worst year.
The Korean baseball team, led by coach Lee Kang-cheol, lost to Australia at the ‘2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC)’ just before the opening and suffered a crushing defeat in the Korea-Japan match, and was eliminated in the first round. Due to the lack of concentration, some players were severely criticized, and baseball fans even laughed at themselves over the level of Korean baseball, which, aside from Japan, lost to Australia.
It wasn’t over. Bad news such as sexual scandals and gambling by some players, requests for back money from the general manager, and investigations into alleged breach of trust by KBO subsidiary KBOP officials came out one after another.
Ahead of the 2023 season, pessimistic views and sharp criticisms poured in, but a surprising twist occurred in the KBO League. All stadiums for the opening game were sold out (105,450 in total). For the first time in the KBO League’s 10-team system, the stadium sold out before the opening game.
It was regarded as a ‘temporary explosion of demand that was thirsty for baseball’, but it was not shiny. With the KBO League’s unique singing cheering culture, the fierce momentum of the LG Twins-Lotte Giants, and the fans’ unchanging love for the KIA Tigers-Hanwha Eagles, the number of spectators exceeded 4 million in just 364 games.
Even during the season, the shocking bad news of the ‘Drunk Controversy during the WBC’, which included ‘Veteran Ace’ Kim Kwang-Hyun, broke out, and at the end of the first half, a group harassment within the 2nd team occurred, but the promotion of teams with loyal fans and a fierce ranking battle. As it developed, it did not affect the box office success.
Recorded 4,412,020 spectators in the first half alone, regaining the level before the Corona 19 pandemic. This is an increase of more than 880,000 compared to the previous year. Expectations are rising that popular teams will continue to be popular in the second half as they are competing for the lead and fall baseball.
Clubs and players, including the KBO, should not be intoxicated with the current box office atmosphere. We must treat it as an incredible opportunity that will not come again, and we must clean up and improve the areas where we have been stained and lacking. This means that we need to find ways to strengthen our international competitiveness while not neglecting the character management of our players and the development of promising players.
Following the humiliation of being eliminated in the first round three times in a row, and even drinking scandals, the 2023 WBC remained the worst tournament for baseball fans. In September, the Hangzhou Asian Games are scheduled while the league is in progress. If he is humiliated at the Asian Games, it can bring cynicism and indifference following a bigger criticism than the WBC failure.
Even if you look at history, crises can come at any time. As the most popular sport, there should be no more bad news to disappoint fans. That is a courtesy to the fans and a way for Korean professional baseball to expand further. There are many fans who come not because they are good at baseball, but because they like baseball itself. Don’t take it and treat it as an opportunity that won’t come again. Fans are professionals when they know that they can turn coldly at any time.