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ROSSETTI Projects Heat Up in South Korea

Korea Seeks to Rebuild Stadiums + Develop Sports Teams

In the years following the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Korea steadily built their sports infrastructure and development of professional sports teams for four major sports: Korea Football League (K-League), Korea Baseball Association (KBO), Korea Basketball League (KBL) and Korea Volleyball Federation (V-League). However, sports venue design and operation were slow to adopt a model of revenue generation, and the lack of utility and maintenance has seen the country’s sports venues decline, including important sports symbols like the Seoul Olympic Stadium.  

An increased focus by the Korean people on health, recreation and sports has led to criticism regarding the disrepair of existing stadiums. Over the past decade, the Korean government has made efforts to relax restrictions on private development, implement free economic zones and allow P3 development models.  This has motivated professional sports teams and their sponsoring companies, such as Samsung and Hyundai, to make financial commitments to a variety of projects. Korean corporations are attracted to long-term leases of facilities with associated naming rights, making renovations and new stadiums more feasible than ever before. At the same time, young Koreans have made their country the fastest growing E-sports market, illustrated when 40,000 attended a world championship match in 2014. Pyeongchang will host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

ROSSETTI's continued involvement in Korean Sports Architecture 

ROSSETTI has been working in Korea since 2008, when we partnered with Moo Young Architects to design Incheon Football Stadium and Sungui Arena. The stadium is home to Incheon United FC and hosted soccer matches for the 2014 Asian Games. Over the past a few years, we worked on various sporting venue project: Gochuk Skydome, the first indoor baseball stadium in Korea, Daegu Football Stadium and masterplan of the entire sports complex, SK Dream Park (a.k.a. Munhak Baseball Stadium) renovation, and KT Wiz Park (a.k.a. Suwon Baseball Stadium) renovation and masterplan of the entire sports complex. Currently, we are doing the feasibility and ROD study for the renovation of Seoul Olympic Stadium, Seongnam FC Club House and Training Facility, and renovation of Tancheon Track & Field Stadium.

In addition to our efforts on actual projects, we have been advising Korean professional sports leagues such as K-League, KBO and KBL. Sunghoon Jung, ROSSETTI Associate, is an official advisor of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Committee. He has been published in many Korean publications and has written two books on Korean Sports. His latest book, Deciphering the Twelve Codes of Korean Football was recently published.

Our role in Korea is not limited to sports architect. We feel responsible as a thought leader in the industry and to help boost the Korean sporting events market into an economic driver for next decade. As part of this effort, ROSSETTI has presented at conferences covering not only sports venue design, but also sports marketing and business. We recently lectured 62 Korean professional sports teams from various leagues about revenue generation strategies for sports venues at the Korea Professional Sports Association Conference hosted by the Sports Ministry. 

Upcoming Korean Sports Projects for ROSSETTI

ROSSETTI recently won several studies and sports projects in South Korea which are all in the beginning design phases. The projects are as follows:

Tancheon Stadium Renovation

Owners of the Tancheon Stadium in Seongnam, South Korea hired ROSSETTI to study the existing stadium for renovations. The Tancheon Stadium is home to the Seongnam Football Club, one of the most historically successful football clubs in South Korea. ROSSETTI has proposed that the Tancheon Stadium be transformed into a soccer specific stadium, which will enhance fan experiences and player amenities.

Seongnam Football Club Clubhouse + Training Facility

ROSSETTI is also commissioned to perform the concept study of a new club house and training facility for Seongnam Football Club in South Korea. The design approach is to provide state-of-the-art facilities that are also community friendly and will serve as a way for fans and members of the community to engage with the team.  

Seoul Olympic Main Stadium Renovation

ROSSETTI has teamed with Kunwon Architects in South Korea to complete the concept design for the renovation of Seoul Olympic Main Stadium. The original stadium was built in 1984 and hosted the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. According to Sung, “Both firms are working together to increase utilization of the stadium in the legacy mode and strategize ways to increase revenue generating opportunities for the facility.” The renovation will be executed in multiple stages to accommodate hundreds of teams at the 2019 Olympic Games.