A rendering of Jamsil domed baseball stadium.
The Jamsil Baseball Stadium in the southeastern part of Seoul will be transformed into a domed stadium annexed to a hotel, allowing guests to watch baseball games from some of the hotel rooms and other areas. Additionally, the areas around Jamsil Sports and MICE Complex as well as COEX Convention & Exhibition Center in southern Seoul will be developed into a waterfront park with various walkways and pedestrian bridges connected to the Han River and Tancheon Stream.
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon unveiled the plan after touring the Marriott City Centre Hotel in Toronto, Canada, on Saturday local time, which is connected to Rogers Centre, a large domed stadium and home to Major League Baseball team Toronto Blue Jays. “We will consider building the planned Jamsil domed baseball stadium annexed with a hotel,” Oh said. “I think it would add a festive feeling to rent a room and enjoy a baseball game with family and friends.”
The 370-room Marriott City Centre Hotel is located inside Rogers Centre, allowing guests to watch a game from some hotel rooms. The duplex rooms have a seating area on the first floor with a clear view of the baseball stadium, while the second floor is designed as a bedroom and relaxation space.
Under the construction plan, the Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to demolish the Jamsil Baseball Stadium and build a domed stadium with a hotel inside, like Rogers Centre, alongside a large-scale MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions) facility with advanced technology, to create a world-class sports-MICE complex in Jamsil.
The Jamsil Baseball Stadium will be dismantled in 2026 once the 2025 season ends and will be transformed into a domed stadium with a capacity of over 30,000 seats, the largest in Korea, by 2031. The cost of the project is estimated to be around 500 billion won ($377.81 million), and as it is a private investment project, there will be no funding from the Seoul Metropolitan Government. If everything goes according to plan, the public may be able to watch professional baseball at Jamsil Domed Stadium from 2032 onwards.
During the baseball off-season, the stadium will be used as a large-scale K-pop concert venue. The corridor space connected to the spectator seats will be designed as an open 360-degree space that circulates between the infield and outfield and have premium seats such as skyboxes and family zones. The project integrates the baseball stadium with unique experiences at the hotel, which has a capacity of 300 rooms, including 120 rooms with a view of the baseball stadium and 180 rooms with views of the Han River and Tancheon Stream. Guests can also enjoy baseball games at the hotel‘s restaurants and fitness center.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said it will work out specific plans with Seoul Smart MICE Park, the preferred bidder for the project. Led by Hanwha Group, Seoul Smart MICE Park will be granted the operating rights for 40 years once negotiations are concluded.
However, an alternative stadium for professional baseball during the construction period is yet to be determined and the cost of a night’s stay is also a concern. At the Marriott City Centre Hotel inside Rogers Centre, the difference in nightly rates between off-season and peak season ranges from about 400,000 won to about 2.66 million won.
The Jamsil Sports and MICE Complex, which will be built next to the Jamsil Domed Stadium, is modeled after the Javits Convention Center in New York. The Javits Center, an urban MICE center, is the largest venue for exhibitions and international events in New York, with an area of about 78,000 square meters. According to a report published by the Javits Center in 2019, it generates about 2.4 trillion won in annual revenue and employs 16,000 people. Oh plans to visit the center on Tuesday.
The areas around Jamsil Sports and MICE Complex and COEX Convention & Exhibition Center in southern Seoul will be connected by a waterfront ecological park. Multiple pedestrian bridges and walking paths will be built to unite the spaces separated by the Han River and Tancheon Stream.
On Saturday, Oh also visited the observation deck of the CN Tower in Toronto and toured its waterfront development site. The waterfront development project in Toronto is a project to revitalize the area near Lake Ontario in the city’s center. The core of the project is to create a park around the lake and redevelop existing residential and commercial facilities. The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to use the development project as a reference to revitalize the areas around the Han River and Tancheon Stream.
The city government is targeting the second half of 2024 to begin construction on the project to restore the Han River and Tancheon Stream and build the Tancheon Pedestrian Bridge. The construction period is expected to be about five years and three months, and the total project cost is estimated at 143.9 billion won.
By Lee Hee-soo and Yoon Yeon-hae
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]