‘PayPayDom & Boss Izo’ Challenge to Become a Global ‘Landmark’ Beyond Japan… Korea Should Take Notice
In recent years, the KBO League has been building토토사이트 “new stadiums” such as Cheongna Dome and Jamsil Dome. In the case of Cheongna Dome, which is being promoted by Shinsegae Vice Chairman Jung Yong-jin, the league is attempting to add a variety of cultural businesses such as shopping and play culture, rather than just enjoying baseball.
In the KBO, the Gocheok Sky Dome, Gwangju-Kia Champions Field, Samsung Lions Park, and Changwon NC Park are the most recently built stadiums. Compared to Busan’s Sajik Stadium, Seoul’s Jamsil Stadium, and Daejeon’s Hanwha Life Eagles Park, they are much better. However, even though the stadium was built relatively recently, there aren’t many things to do other than play baseball. As a result, not many fans visit the stadium unless they are baseball fans. Especially on non-baseball days, the area around the stadium can be quite deserted.
To improve this problem, Jung Yong-jin, the vice chairman of Cheongna Dome, is envisioning a way to connect Cheongna Star Field and Cheongna Dome. The idea is to capture the hearts of fans who don’t just want to watch baseball. The same goes for the Jamsil Dome project. Seoul, which is building a dome ballpark in Jamsil, is also trying to incorporate a convention center and hotel.
In the case of Major League Baseball, newly built stadiums often incorporate various content elements, including shopping malls. The most representative stadium is Globe Life Field, which is used by the Texas Rangers. For teams and cities looking to build new stadiums, there’s one not too far away. These are the Fukuoka PayPay Dome and the Boss Izo in Japan.
The Fukuoka PayPay Dome is the “only” professional baseball stadium in Japan that is owned by the team. Because the stadium is owned by the team, rather than leased, SoftBank has made a tremendous effort to revitalize the area around the PayPayDome, resulting in the completion of a complex entertainment building called Boss Izo in July 2020. The building provides fans with something to do in the PayPayDome neighborhood even on non-baseball days. The PayPayDome and Boss Izo are less than a minute apart.
The contents of BOSS IZO are very diverse. On the first floor, there is a performance venue where you can watch Japanese idol group HKT48 perform, TeamLab Forest Fukuoka, an immersive museum that uses three-dimensional space, a place where you can play games using VR (virtual reality), and Japan’s “only” 100-meter-long slide and climb.
Baseball-related content is not to be missed. There is a museum dedicated to SoftBank Chairman Sadaharu Oh, a “legend” who hit 868 home runs in his career. The museum is filled with exhibits related to his SoftBank Hawks. There’s also a baseball experience center that uses advanced technology. It’s not just a baseball experience, but a system where you can compare your skills with those of professional players.
The PayPayDome and BOSS IZO connection system could be a model for KBO teams and cities looking to build new stadiums and attract landmarks other than ballparks. SoftBank invited Lee Dae-ho to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the club and the 30th anniversary of the PayPay Dome to introduce Korean tourists to BOSS IZO beyond baseball.
Lee visited Fukuoka on the 26th and watched the game between SoftBank and the Chiba Lotte Marines on the 27th. Upon hearing of Lee’s visit, the former and current SoftBank coaching staff, who won the Japan Series MVP award while he was with SoftBank in 2015, rushed to welcome the “No. 4 hitter of Joseon”. “This is my first time in the stands,” said Lee Dae-ho, who has been on the field countless times but hasn’t had much experience watching baseball from the stands. I’m so nervous,” he said, expressing his joy at the experience he hadn’t had while on active duty.
Before the game between SoftBank and the Chiba Rodeo at the PayPay Dome on the 28th, Lee will enjoy the content of “Boss Izo” and deliver the ceremonial first pitch. Ieyasu Shimizu, director of SoftBank’s General Business Office, said, “We want to attract more Korean tourists to visit Boss Izo 365 days a year, not just for baseball at Fukuoka PayPay Dome. We will sell tickets exclusively for Koreans and offer a variety of special benefits,” said Mr. Shimizu Ieyasu, Director of Business Development, SoftBank. “We want to make PayPay Dome and Boss Izo a favorite destination for Korean tourists by working harder to make them feel like they are ‘lucky to be here’.”
The Major League Baseball (MLB), as well as Japan, are making various attempts to create a place where people can enjoy baseball and various contents in one place. We hope that the KBO League will be able to make these things a reality, not just a plan.
[BOSS IZO Fukuoka, PayPay Dome, immersive museum “TeamLab Forest Fukuoka,” Royal Political Museum, Japanese fans enjoying baseball activities, SoftBank Hawks Yuki Yanagita and Daeho Lee.