Telecom Giant KT To Establish 10th KBO Club, Renovate Suwon City Stadium
Telecom giant KT has officially announced its plan to establish a 10th professional baseball club under the Korea Baseball Organization, according to Kang Seung-woo of the KOREA TIMES. The company signed a memorandum of understanding with Gyeonggi Province and Suwon City "for mutual support in creating the new team." KT plans to undertake the tasks to found the club, including selecting players and coaching staff and building a practice facility "when the KBO gives the final nod." It intends to join the nation's second-tier league in '14 and the top flight in '15. KT Chair Lee Suk-chae said, "We have decided to establish a club as baseball has cemented its status as the nation’s No. 1 sport, accompanied by a strong thirst for a 10th team and active support from Gyeonggi Province and Suwon City" (KOREA TIMES, 11/6). YONHAP noted that since March, when the expansion to nine teams was finalized, there have calls for a 10th club "to give the KBO an even number of teams." Under their partnership with KT, Gyeonggi Province and Suwon City "agreed to renovate the 14,465-seat Suwon Stadium to turn it into a 25,000-seat stadium. They will lease the ballpark to KT for 25 years, and KT will have the naming rights to the stadium, "while also guaranteed revenues from advertising and concession" (YONHAP, 11/6).