Seoul World Cup Stadium
Name: Seoul World Cup Stadium
Address: 515, Seongsan-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea Republic
Last renovation: –
Max. standing fans: –
No. of seats: 65,990
Seats in boxes: 816
Total capacity: 66 806
Home teams: Korea Republic national teams, Seoul FC, Korea Republic clubs playing in international competitions
Seoul – a money-making marvel
Would you like to get married in the wedding hall and then celebrate next door with up to 1,500 guests? Maybe you would like to relax in the huge 3.825 m2 wellness area, taking a dip in the pool or simply enjoying the sauna? You would like to catch a movie? No problem – there is a ten-screen cinema complex. You need to do some last-minute shopping for food, toys, furniture or even household goods? You will find virtually everything you need in a 62,000-m2 shopping mall. Perhaps you would prefer to play golf or work out in the gigantic, state-of-the-art fitness centre? Or maybe you are just craving a creamy cappuccino or a delicious pizza?
In the Korean capital, you can find all of this – and more – under one roof at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
More than 100,000 visitors
This stadium is an architectural and logistical gem. Built in the space of only 38 months for the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2001 and the FIFA World Cup TM the year after at a cost of USD 166 million, it caters for visitors’ every whim. The total surface area of 216, 712 m2 ensures that the stadium meets the needs of hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
During the 2002 World Cup, the Seoul World Cup Stadium was still a football-only stadium, the biggest of its kind in the whole of Asia. After the event, a museum was built deep in the bowels of this seven-storey structure to pay special homage, above all, to the successful Korean team that claimed a stunning fourth-place finish in the tournament.
Today, the Seoul World Cup Stadium is the only one of the ten World Cup stadiums in the Republic of Korea that is returning a profit. Every day, tens of thousands of people flock to the stadium that played host Senegal’s 1-0 victory over France in the World Cup’s opening match on 31 May 2002 to spend millions of won in shops covering a surface area of 53,000 m2.
More than 100,000 people pay the 1,000 won entrance fee (around 1 euro) each year to visit “Asia’s most beautiful football stadium” – according to the builders and owners, at least – to enter the team’s dressing rooms, to watch video presentations, to sit on one of the 816 VIP seats or 56 executive boxes and to step onto the pristine pitch that is covered by a plastic sheet for three months of the year to protect it from freezing temperatures. The visitors, many of whom come from overseas, are never anything but impressed by this colossal money-making machine, which boasts 6,380 tones of steel, a teflon-coated glass roof coasting USD 35 million, 230 m2 of scoreboards, 220 loudspeakers, 2,000-lux floodlights, 104 CCTV cameras, 100 entry and exit points, 46 toilets and its own clinic. A fountain that shoots water a record-breaking 202 metres into the air was even built in the nearby Han River to pay homage to this monumental construction.
Giant Sailing ship
The Seoul World Cup Stadium has become a favored meeting place for all sorts of people. Some go shopping, others come for entertainment, and there are even those who enter into holy matrimony at the stadium. Maybe some people have even caught their first glimpse of their future spouse in one of the stadium’s many restaurants and cafes. It is often said that football brings people together and has no boundaries. This stadium – the ingenious brainchild of Korean architects and engineers who designed it to resemble a giant sailing ship – certainly bears out that claim.
Ste stadium is virtually always full to capacity (66,806) whenever Korea Republic play home matches here, even though they are not currently flying nearly as high as they did in the World Cup five years ago. The stadium is also the venue for Korea national football teams at various other levels as well as Korean club teams, particularly when they are in continental competitions, and of course Seoul FC.
They may not be sweeping all before them on the pitch at the moment, but Seoul FC are still the best-supported club in Korea. The club’s average crowd for matches at the Seoul World Cup Stadium is 20,000 – more than twice the figure for other clubs in Korea.
Many stay on the stadium’s premises long after the final whistle, whether to have a bite to eat, do some shopping, go swimming or catch a movie. Nobody has yet decided to get married at the Seoul World Cup Stadium immediately after a match – but it would be possible.