Andrew Farrell, Gocheok Sky Dome, Korean baseball, Mokdong Baseball Stadium, Nexen Heroes, Stadium, Tickets

Gocheok Sky Dome

gocheok-dome
A plane approaches the nearby Gimpo Airport over Geocheok Sky Dome

Image result for nexen heroes

What is it? The Gocheok Dome eventually opened in 2015 after 7 grueling years featuring revised structural plans, spiraling costs, a lack of interest from Doosan Bears and LG Twins and a decision not to restrict the stadium’s use to just amateur players. Nexen Heroes eventually moved in for the start of the 2016 season following months (years?) of wrangling and protests with the Seoul Metropolitan Government.  The Heroes, once the Ugly Duckling of KBO, had been based in Mokdong, just a few kilometers north, since 2008. However, they began to outgrow their stale, dilapidated and unloved Mokdong as a successful team was slowly formed on the field. Initial verdicts of the Dome have not been positive though, with fans regularly complaining of restricted views and other annoyances. This Dome has no comparison to the magnificent version in Toyko.

How can I get there? Access to the stadium is relatively simple as it sits on the edge of the Anyang River in a very busy part of western Seoul. Subway: The closest subway line is at Guil Station on Line 1 (towards Incheon) and from here you can easily reach the centre of the city as the dark blue line passes through Yongsan and Seoul Stations (both served by the KTX) and City Hall etc. If you need to travel south on line 1, you can either take a train from Guil to Guro (next station east) and transfer for south bound trains (to Anyang, Suwon, Pyeongtaek and Cheonan) or just walk 15 mins to Guro. This will save the confusion of getting on the wrong train and trying to find the right platform.

**It is worth noting that the dark blue Line 1 splits at Guro Station so if you’re going to the Dome, you’ll need to make sure you’re on an Incheon-bound train. If you’re going to Suwon (KT Wiz) make sure you’re on a south-bound train. The map below might help.**

Alternatively, Sindorim Station is a 20-25 mins walk from the Dome. Sindorim is one of the biggest subway stations in Seoul and lines 1 and 2 both pass through it. Essentially, from Sindorim, you can go anywhere in Seoul.

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Gocheok Dome is located between Guil and Gaebong stations. Check the Google map below to see how to get from the station to the stadium.

Can I buy food and drink?  Those who have been speak very highly of the basement for post game entertainment. I’ve yet to make it that far south. However, for a new stadium, the food and drink facilities are just a notch above rubbish. You can buy kebabs, chicken and other local dishes like ramen and deokboki. Beer is also sold in liter form and costs around $7. If you do go, make sure to check out the amazing beer pouring technique found on the first level. Rumour has it some fans are still in Gocheok wondering how it all works.

What if I want to buy some merchandise? There is a small store selling Nexen merchandise outside the first base entrance. Don’t expect to find much variety. It is pretty limited.

Where should I sit? Home fans are based on the first base side and away fans on the third base side. Outfield seats also exist. The stadium only holds 17,000 so on big game days don’t expect to find a neutral zone. And since the Heroes aren’t exactly the best supported team, if you’re not on first base, you’ll probably be in with the away fans.

Is there any post-game entertainment? There is nowhere like Jamsil for post-game entertainment but Gocheok, the area, is pretty busy and just a few minutes away. It is remarkably different from the more glitzy surroundings of Sincheon but there are a lot of good restaurants and bars nearby.

Oh, I need a ticket. Can I get one? Definitely. Nexen would probably struggle to sell out a game in a local park if away fans were prohibited from attending. The bigger clubs (KIA Tigers, Lotte Giants, Doosan Bears) will take a large following to the stadium but getting in shouldn’t be a problem. But it is best to be sure, and arrive early.

Image result for interpark ticket logoPlease click on the highlighted link if you would prefer to buy your’s on-line, instead of queuing outside the stadium. Warning. Interpark is in Korean, so if you don’t understand, ask for help.

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