The professional soccer K-League started the 2023 season pleasantly. A total of 24 teams successfully held their home opening matches over two weeks, raising expectations for box office success this season.
According to the Korea Professional Football Federation on the 6th, a total of 162,865 people, an average of 13,572, entered the K-League 1 over the past 12 games in the first and second rounds.
It is still in the early stages with only 12 games played, but it is not far behind compared to 2017 (164,434), which attracted the largest number of spectators throughout the first and second rounds. The K-League has been counting only paid spectators since 2018, but in 2017, both paid and free spectators were counted.
It is a record that surpassed the previous record of 2019 (total 146,335 people, average 12,195 people), which attracted the most spectators in the first and second rounds after counting paid spectators.
The team with the best spectator performance was the ‘defending champion’ Ulsan Hyundai, with 28,039 people visiting the stadium for the opening game against Jeonbuk Hyundai. FC Seoul also attracted more than 20,000 spectators (22,204).
19,660 people attended Jeonbuk Hyundai and 18,590 people entered Daejeon Hana Citizen, the ‘promoted team’, adding strength to the box office.
Pohang Steelers (14,089), Daegu FC (10,851), Suwon Samsung (10,348), and Incheon United (10,11) also recorded more than 10,000 spectators.
Gangwon FC had the fewest spectators among the 12 teams with 6199, but it is the largest spectator count after paying spectators in 2018. According to the Gangwon club, more than 1,200 soldiers, in addition to the counted spectators, came to the stadium to liven up the atmosphere.
The K-League 2 was also a box office success. In 12 K-League 2 matches this season, 45,893 people entered, with an average of 3824 people. This is more than in 2019 (average of 3213). In 2019, 10 teams participated in the league, and a total of 10 games were played in the first and second rounds.
At the forefront of K-League 2 box office success was the new Chungbuk Cheongju FC. Cheongju invited 7,035 people to the home opener, recording the largest number of spectators in the K League 2. FC Anyang attracted 60,003 spectators and Jeonnam Dragons attracted 4,890 spectators.
In addition, Chungnam Asan FC (4422), Seoul E-Land FC (4247), and Ansan Greeners (4173) recorded more than 4,000 paying spectators. Gimpo FC had the fewest admissions, 1164, but it was meaningful because all seats were sold out.
A club official said, “The popularity of the 2022 Qatar World Cup and various soccer entertainment programs is leading to the K-League. Also, as the era of the new coronavirus infection (Corona 19) is coming to an end, it seems that fans have come to the stadium.” analyzed the reason. 안전놀이터
However, it does not appear to rest on its laurels in the early box office. The official said, “There have been many cases in the past where excessive interest has been drawn after the opening of the season. In addition, the federation achieved an interesting matchup in the early stages and received a lot of attention from public opinion.” “There is a lot of discussion within the club,” he said.
Another official in the soccer world advised, “A box office success can shine. It is important to maintain enthusiasm and interest in the early stages. The club, as well as the players and media, will have to pay much attention and continue their efforts.”