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Take me out to the ball game

8-1cw24 사직야구장-국제신문
New Lotte manager Kim Tae-hyoung has Giants fans rejoicing. Kim led his previous team, the Doosan Bears, to seven consecutive Korea Series appearances and three championships.

 Baseball is a BIG hit in Korea. In fact, it is Korea's most popular sport! From late March to early October, throngs of baseball fans fill stadiums to root for their favorite teams. 

 In Busan, Sajik Baseball Stadium in Dongnae-gu District is ground zero for baseball fervor. Families, friends and couples enthusiastically fill the stands, cheering on the hometown Lotte Giants.

 The Lotte Giants were established in 1975 and were one of the original six founding franchises of the Korean Baseball Organization League in 1982. The Giants have called the 24,000-seat Sajik Baseball Stadium home since 1985. The stadium is, appropriately, located in the heart of Busan, accessed by metro line 3 via Sajik Station or Sports Complex Station.

 The Giants last won the Korean Series Championship in 1992 and have only made the playoffs once in the last decade. Despite the team regularly finishing at the bottom of the standings, Giants fans, affectionately called "Busan Seagulls," are arguably the most passionate fanbase on the peninsula.

 The Seagulls flock to Sajik on game days and create an atmosphere usually associated with college basketball in the United States or pro football in England. Giants fans cheer with a burning passion. For Busanites, there is no better place to shout or sing aloud than Sajik Stadium. It is a safe space to be rowdy and boisterous. Led by professional cheerleaders, the 24,000-strong fanbase scream with joy or groan in frustration with every pitch, hit, out or homerun. In between the action, fans encourage the team, with each player on the Giants roster showered with his own unique song or chant.

 For visitors and citizens, attending a game at Sajik Stadium is a worthwhile experience. Even if you do not enjoy sports, it is difficult not to get swept up in Giants fever. The energy, passion and camaraderie of the Seagulls is infectious. By the fourth inning, you will join the crowd as it screams, "Ma! Ma! Ma!" at opposing players.

 Plus, baseball is not the only offering at Sajik Stadium; an equally alluring draw is the food and drink. On game days, vendors inside and outside the stadium sell all manner of tasty treats, beyond peanuts and Cracker Jack. The crack of a bat and the pop of a mitt are just background music for a Korean soul food feast of fried chicken, gimbap, pizza and sweet and spicy tteokbokki. Stop by the Homeplus, a large retail market, near the stadium and stock up on snacks and plastic bottles of beer.

 KBO League games are played every day of the week except Monday, so there is a good chance the Giants will be home either during the week or on weekends through the beginning of October. Join the action and experience Busan's one-of-a-kind love for baseball. 

 Warm sunshine. A cool breeze. Hot fried chicken. Ice-cold beer. Attending a Lotte Giants game at Sajik Stadium is a grand slam.

■ Sajik Baseball Stadium

• Address: 45 Sajik-ro, Dongnae-gu

• Tickets: 3,000 won to 55,000 won

• Website:

• Note: Glass bottles are not permitted inside the stadium. Up to 1L of plastic bottled beer is allowed per person.

■ Upcoming games at Sajik Stadium 


<Voca Spotlight>

rejoicing: 기뻐하다

consecutive: 연속적인

throngs: 군중

affectionately: 애정 어린

aloud: 큰 소리로

rowdy: 소란스러운

boisterous: 시끌벅적한

groan: 신음소리