Although it is early in the season, the popularity of the Lotte Giants is unusual. Even the opponent team is positively viewing Lotte’s progress for the KBO league’s box office success.
Lotte recorded 211,063 home spectators (11,725 per game) until the game on the 20th. Compared to LG Twins, which has already exceeded 300,000, it is not a lot. However, if you look closely, Lotte has something to say.
Until the 20th,메이저사이트 Lotte played 35 games this season, which is the lowest with the KIA Tigers. Eight games were lost due to rain, and among them, there was the bad luck that all three games of the Children’s Day series (May 5-7 against Samsung), the KBO League’s best box office card, were postponed due to rain. According to the club officials, more than 70,000 tickets have disappeared into the air just in the past three years.
Nevertheless, Lotte led the box office in the KBO league, with more than 10,000 spectators steadily entering the weekday series in May.
Lotte, which has won 9 consecutive victories in 15 years this season, has not broken its momentum in May and is forming the ‘Top 3’ with SSG Landers and LG Twins. It is a situation where the question mark is gradually changing to an exclamation mark as it achieves three consecutive winning series, starting with three consecutive home matches against Doosan. It was natural for SSG, which became a watershed in the ranking fight, to attract a large number of spectators to this three-game series.
A view of Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, where the match between SSG and Lotte was held on the 20th. /Photo = Courtesy of Lotte Giants
On the 19th, the first day of the series, 19,011 spectators visited Sajik Baseball Stadium. This was the record for the largest number of spectators excluding Saturday and Sunday games this season. Amid the enthusiastic support of the fans, Lotte won 7-5 and recaptured the lead. Supported by the outstanding team performance, and an event where uniforms were handed out, the match on the 20th was completely sold out (22,990 seats).
Although in a position to fight the overwhelming support of Lotte fans, SSG also showed a positive reaction. SSG coach Kim Won-hyung (51) said ahead of the game on the 19th, “It’s good because there are a lot of spectators and they are interested.” He went on to say, “Players who play can be a burden, and so am I, but I think it will be fun.”
Manager Kim, who met again the next day after losing the game, analyzed the defeat, saying, “(In the game on the 19th) it seems that I was suppressed.” He also said, “The players don’t seem to be able to ignore the atmosphere either.” Lotte’s support was so great.
SSG Kim Gwang-hyun pitches against Sajik Lotte on the 20th.
Ace Kim Gwang-hyeon (35), who helped the team win 5-0 by pitching 6 innings, 1 hit, 9 strikeouts and no runs in the match on the 20th, also showed a positive response to Lotte’s box office success. Kim Gwang-hyun said, “I was in a downturn in baseball because my grades were not good at the World Baseball Classic (WBC). But it was so happy and fun to throw in front of so many spectators.”
Kim Gwang-hyun said, “The players joke around and say, ‘Lotte should do well’. Lotte has a lot of fans and they are passionate.” I hope baseball continues to be popular through competition,” he continued.
Kim Gwang-hyun also said, “As many fans come as this, I think the players should continue to show their best play.” Kim Gwang-hyun, who recalled Lotte when he was coach Jerry Royster in the past, said, “Lotte was popular at that time, so there were a lot of spectators, but I felt good at that time.”
Regarding the cheering of Lotte fans, veteran infielder Kim Seong-hyeon (36) said, “It was fun. The cheering was great, and it really felt like playing baseball.” At the same time, he proudly showed his pride for SSG fans, saying, “I want to say that our fans were the ones that shined the most in that crowd.”
In this three-game series, the two teams are fighting fiercely. Until the 20th, they exchanged 1 win and 1 loss, and even among Lotte fans who filled Sajik Stadium during the cheering match, SSG fans were ‘one per hundred’. performed well. Amid goodwill competition, the box office of the KBO League is also recovering to the pre-Corona 19 level.
A total of 93,893 spectators entered the 5 games held on the 20th, and this year’s KBO League exceeded 2 million spectators in 191 games. This is similar to that of 2015 (189 games). It is all the more meaningful because it was achieved despite the bad news that four games were canceled due to rain across the country on Children’s Day. And at the center was Lotte.