The three-game weekend series between Lotte and SSG at Sajik Stadium from the 19th to the 21st attracted national attention. The series was about who would be in first place at the end of the week. It was also interesting to see if Lotte’s momentum could sweep the ‘champions’ SSG.
Lotte fans weren’t going to stand still. On Friday the 19th, 19,011 spectators entered the stadium. 82.7% of the total capacity was filled. Saturday, the 20th, was already predicted to be a full house. As soon as ticketing opened, tickets were quickly snapped up. The club even put up a “full house” banner long before kickoff. They didn’t want fans to get turned away waiting at the gate.
On Sunday, the 21st, tickets were not sold out until the day before, but all 22,990 seats were filled within 30 minutes of kickoff. Busan fans responded enthusiastically to Lotte’s strong start to the season. The resignation karaoke was unforgettable. It was literally spectacular.
Lotte finished 2021 in eighth place. In 2022, the team finished eighth again, but the attitude of the fans in 2022 and 2023 was very different. This was due to the team’s offseason actions.
Lotte was passive in the free agency and trade market ahead of the 2022 season. In fact, the team’s franchise star, Son As-seop (NC), left for neighboring Changwon. On the contrary, the team swept up three immediate powerhouses in free agency – Yoo Kang-nam, Noh Jin-hyuk, and Han Hyun-hee – to raise fan expectations ahead of the 2023 season. The lower-ranked team really executed on the idea of making noise in the offseason.
The team’s record improved, and now that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is virtually over, fans are starting to gather at Sajik Stadium again. Last year, Lotte mobilized an average of 8,773 fans per game at Sajik Stadium. This was largely due to a drop-off in attendance at the end of the season, when the team’s performance began to decline. This year, however, the team is averaging 12,319 fans in the first 19 games. That’s 3546 more than last year.
Of course, attendance should drop during the hot, humid, and rainy summer months, but industry insiders believe that if Lotte’s strong performance continues, average attendance shouldn’t drop too much. In fact, Lotte’s average home attendance in April was 10,203, but in May it was 16,903. It is not unreasonable to expect this trend to continue for the time being.
The team is performing well, and we can expect a big jump in revenue. Assuming that this trend continues and the average attendance increases from last year, and assuming that the ticket price remains at last year’s level (16,500 won), Lotte can expect to generate about 4.2 billion won more in ticket sales than last year. Although the share to be given to the away team will increase proportionally, and the maintenance costs will be higher, officials say that it is not necessary to spend so much extra money because the stadium is a fixed cost anyway. 메이저놀이터
As the team’s strength increases with free agent signings, the team’s performance improves, and the number of fans increases, the cost of advertising will naturally increase. It’s a virtuous cycle. Yoo Kang-nam’s guaranteed salary this year is 600 million won, Noh Jin-hyuk’s is 500 million won, and Han Hyun-hee’s is 200 million won, for a total of 1.3 billion won. The bottom line is simple. As with all baseball organizations, but especially with Lotte, playing baseball well solves a lot of problems.