Gyeonggi government to build K-pop Arena

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Gyeonggi government to build K-pop Arena

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A large stadium designed only for K-pop concerts will be constructed near Incheon International Airport, as part of local government efforts to lure foreign fans of the Korean Wave.

The Goyang city government in Gyeonggi province announced its plan Friday to build a stadium for K-pop performances with a capacity of more than 15,000.

It would be the first such K-pop only venue in Korea.

Currently, there are only two venues in Korea bigger than the new stadium; Olympic Stadium and Jamsil Baseball Stadium. But they are used for other events.

The planned stadium is part of the so-called “K-pop Arena” project of Gyeonggi Provincial Government. It will be located in Korean Wave World, a mutipurpose cultural venue in eastern Goyang.

The 990,000-square-meter (245-acre) Korean Wave World site will have a theme park, a hotel media center and commercial buildings. The Gyeonggi government started the project in 2004 in an effort to boost the local economy by promoting the Korean Wave.

The K-pop arena is expected to open in 2017, according to the city, and include a main stadium, small stadium, music museum and other cultural facilities.

“Construction of the K-pop Arena is not only for the K-pop industry, but for job creation for young people and the development of media content, education and entertainment businesses, boosting the entire cultural industry and tourism,” said Kim Moon-soo, Gyeonggi governor. “The K-pop Arena will hold high-level performances by Korean singers, attracting foreign travelers.”

In February, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism launched a competition for a bid for the K-pop Arena and there were front-runners: Gyeonggi province and Seoul. Gyeonggi won because of its proximity to the airport and the infrastructure of Korean Wave World.

The arena is close to Incheon International Airport, about 40 minutes by car or bus. It also is located near some major tourist attractions in Gyeonggi province, such as Everland Resort, an amusement park, or the Demilitarized Zone sightseeing spots.”

In addition, the Gyeonggi Provincial Government offered some special benefits to help win the bid for the arena. For the next 20 years, the government will provide a free lease of the construction site for a private builder. If the builder attracts foreign investment, the free lease will be extended to 50 years.

“The construction of some of the basic infrastructure for Korean Wave World has almost been completed,” said Hwang Seon-yun, business manager. “So, basically, the construction of K-pop Arena can be started right away.”



By Yoo Gil-yong [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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