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SBD Global/February 7, 2013/Franchises

Suwon Mayor Confident 10th Team Will Boost City's Economy, Build Large Fan Base

South Korean city Suwon Mayor Yeom Tae-young believes that the Korea Baseball Organization's 10th team, which will be owned by telecoms company KT, "will be very popular out of the gate and eventually allow Suwon to challenge Seoul's status as the country's top sports city," according to Jung Min-ho of the KOREA TIMES. Yeom "is confident that Suwon will provide a massive fan base for the new team," pointing to the nearly 300 active amateur baseball teams in the city. Yeom: "The support toward landing a baseball team has been significant. Our survey showed that more than 90% of the citizens said they want a Suwon baseball team." Additionally, the lengthening of the country's "economic downturn has seemed to spark baseball's growth as a serious business." When bad news hits "and wallets get thin, people seek escapist entertainment." Paying 6,000 won ($5.50) "to watch baseball accompanied with beer and fried chicken has proved popular." One of Yeom's pledges for hosting the expansion team is constructing a domed stadium to meet "sports fans' long-cherished wish." He, however, "is taking a cautious approach to executing it." Yeom: "We will definitely proceed with the project as promised. However, because it the cost will be enormous, we have to carefully measure when and what size of stadium we construct" (KOREA TIMES, 2/6).
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