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SBD Global/January 14, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Korean Telecom KT Wins Ownership Of 10th Team In South Korea's Top Tier

KT, South Korea's No. 2 mobile carrier, was selected as the owner for the country's 10th professional baseball team, and Suwon, Gyeonggi province was chosen as the team's home ground, according to Kwon Sang-soo of the KOREA JOONGANG DAILY. The Korea Baseball Organization will request approval of the new ownership "at a general meeting to be held with existing baseball owners on Jan. 22." If two-thirds of the owners approve the KBO council's designation, "KT will officially become the 10th team," following its mobile industry rivals LG ('90) and SK ('00). Upon approval, KT "will likely join the league" in the '15 season, after participating in the Futures' League, which is "equivalent to the Triple-A minor league" in the U.S., in '14. KT and Suwon said that the city "has a higher market value because it could attract more baseball fans." Suwon, just south of Seoul, has a population of 1.15 million, and about 6.4 million people live within an hour of the stadium. KT has promised to donate 20B won ($18.9M) to the league "for baseball's growth and development" and to invest 29B won ($27.5M) in remodeling the existing Suwon Baseball Stadium "into a facility that can accommodate up to 25,000 fans" (KOREA JOONGANG DAILY, 1/12).
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