Professional soccer team Gangwon FC has been on a “hot streak” since moving to Gangneung Sports Complex in July. As a percentage of the population, the team boasts the highest number of fans in the K League. This is largely due to the team’s efforts to attract fans with a variety of events at each home game, including the installation of adjustable seats in consultation with Gangwon Province.
According to Gangwon FC, since moving to Gangneung Sports Complex this season, the average attendance has been 8,651 fans. Even taking into account the aftermath of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), this is more than five times the average attendance of last year (10,642). The highest attendance of the season was in the 24th round against Suwon Samsung (11,084), which accounts for over 5% of the population of Gangneung City (approximately 210,000).
This season, Gangwon FC made a concerted effort to attract more fans, selling 10,000 season tickets in partnership with the local government earlier this year. The team also invited celebrities such as Kim Heung-guk and Tanaka (real name Kim Kyung-wook) and organized various events with fans both inside and outside the stadium to provide plenty of entertainment. In particular, the raffle event with prizes at halftime was very popular.굿모닝토토
In addition, Gangwon FC strived to solve the problem of the lack of food and beverages at Gangneung Stadium by installing food trucks and kiosks for spectators’ convenience. In addition, the stadium also set up a booth selling local specialties in partnership with the city and county, creating a separate space for fans from outside Gangwon Province.
In August, after discussions with Gangwon Province, Gangwon FC installed variable seats at Gangneung Stadium for the first time in its history, which also helped increase the number of spectators. Due to the nature of the stadium’s track, it was inconvenient to watch the game due to the long distance between the stands and the ground, but with the variable seats, fans could watch the players’ movements closer and enjoy the game in a lively way, which naturally led to a “box office effect” as more people came to the stadium.
In the real Gangneung Sports Complex, the ‘Orange Corps’ cheers are incredible. Fans wearing Gangwon FC’s iconic orange uniforms, mufflers, and bandanas fill the seats. According to Gangwon FC officials, the variable seats installed in Area N, the cheering section, are ‘sold out’ every game. In addition, the team has created special seats such as the Sky Lounge to create a better viewing experience for fans.
Gangwon FC’s efforts didn’t stop there. Throughout the year, the club has been traveling throughout Gangwon province, holding soccer clinics, career education programs, fan meetings, and other activities to increase fan convenience. In particular, the team organized a ‘youth soccer tournament’ to expand the base of youth soccer, as promised by CEO Kim Byung-ji when he took office.
Gangwon FC needs to continue its efforts to establish itself as a representative Korean club in the K League. For this, staying in the K League 1 is a ‘must’. In the remaining three games, the team must give it their all to survive the competition. Right now, they need to change the atmosphere by winning the Hana OneQ K League 2023 Round 36 away match against Daejeon Hana Citizen at Daejeon World Cup Stadium on the 11th.