Last weekend, we attended our very first Korean baseball game while spending the weekend in Gwangju. We’d heard that baseball in Korea was a bit different than back home, but thought it would be a great weekend activity to enjoy. The weather was perfect and the game was a lot of fun!
We hope you enjoy this write-up about the differences between Korean baseball games and the games we know from the United States.
Snacks and Drinks Are Sold Right Outside the Stadium
When you arrive at the stadium, you will see many vendors selling candy, snacks, beer, and fast food right outside of the stadium. This is something that we never saw at home games, because selling food only in the stadium is a way to make a bigger profit. The most popular items that were being sold were beer, pizza, and fried chicken.
You’re encouraged to bring whatever you buy into the stadium — you can even bring coolers with your own food and drinks from home.
The Stadium is Full of Convenience Stores
When you walk around the stadium, you will notice more vendors selling food and drinks. There are also many convenience stores. At the Gwangju Kia Champions Stadium in Gwangju, we noticed that all of the convenience stores were Mini-Stops, a popular chain in South Korea. Here you can buy ramen, beer, dried squid, chips, and other snack items. The items are priced just the same as they would be at a convenience store in any other part of Korea.
Teams Are Named After Companies
Back home, stadiums tend to be named after the companies that sponsor them. In Korea, the teams themselves are named after companies. We were rooting for the Kia Tigers at our game! When I first mentioned going to a baseball game, I accidentally called them the Gwangju Tigers — my co-teachers thought this was so funny.
There are Cheerleaders
While we’re not used to seeing cheerleaders at baseball games in America, they’re common here. There are currently 9 baseball teams throughout Korea, and all teams have their own cheerleaders. We noticed that the crowd really got into the game and there was a lot of energy.
Games Are Extremely Affordable
If you’re looking for an inexpensive and fun activity to do in Korea, this is it. You can find great seats for as little as $7, depending on the stadium that you visit and the section that you choose to sit in. Since you’re allowed to bring in your own snacks and can buy items cheaply at the game, you’re able to keep more money in your pocket.
While you won’t find nachos here, there’s a lot of fun to be had at a baseball game in Korea. We would definitely like to check out another game in the future, possibly even in another city.