South Korea To Build K-Pop Arena In Seoul

As part of a broader effort to attract more foreign tourists and create jobs in the cultural sector, South Korea announced Monday that it will be building a K-pop arena in Seoul by 2024.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance said the project is worth about 500 billion won ($442 million) and would be financed by private companies, though further details were not provided. The move comes as K-pop has gained ground not only in Asia, but also in the United States, Latin America and Europe in recent years.

Korea aims to provide a better-equipped indoor venue for concerts by K-pop and foreign artists. Seoul Arena, as it is being called, will seat around 18,400 people and will be built near Chang-dong Station in Dobong District, northern Seoul.

“Seoul is the only city among some 10 megacities throughout the world to not have an arena dedicated to large-sized live concerts,” the Seoul Metropolitan Government said in a statement.

Currently, most live concerts in Seoul are held at sporting facilities.

“Today, live concerts have to be held at sports facilities mostly, like the World Cup Stadium and the Olympic Stadium, both of which can seat some 60,000 people but are open-air stadiums,” the city government said. “Concerts have been held indoors at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena, which can seat some 15,000 people, and the Gocheok Sky Dome baseball stadium that has some 15,000 seats. But these facilities’ function is mostly for sports, not music concerts. Concerts have been canceled before because of clashing schedules with sporting events.”

In addition to the arena, the Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to build a smaller 2,000-seat concert hall in Chang-dong that will focus on showing independent films and documentaries as well as build a museum on the history of K-pop and music in Korea.

By: Maytinee Kramer

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