KT Officially Approved As Owner Of 10th KBO Team, Will Invest More Than $27M
The Korea Baseball Organization "unanimously approved" South Korea's No. 2 mobile carrier KT as the owner of a 10th team on Thursday, according to Jung Min-ho of the KOREA TIMES. The telecom giant and the city of Suwon "overcame a challenge from construction firm Booyoung's partnership" with North Jeolla province. The new club will play in the minor Korea Baseball Futures League before joining the top-flight KBO in '15. In addition to the 20B won ($19M) donation KT "has promised for the further growth of baseball," it will also pay 3B won ($2.8M) as a start-up fee and provide a 10B won ($9.5M) deposit that can be used "in the case of a financial emergency in operating the team" (KOREA TIMES, 1/17). In Seoul, Moon Gwang-lip noted once the new team joins the top tier in '15, the KBO will be "only two clubs shy" of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball, the biggest league in Asia. Suwon "launched a remodeling project" of Suwon Baseball Stadium earlier this month and plans to put 29B won ($27.4M) into the project." The plan will see the two-story stadium with a capacity to seat 14,000 "renovated into a three-story, 25,000-seat stadium by the end of the year" (KOREA JOONGANG DAILY, 1/18).