Seoul plans an arena for concerts to boost K-pop

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Seoul plans an arena for concerts to boost K-pop

A large arena is to be built in northeastern Seoul in an attempt to boost the Korean music and performance industries.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced Monday it will present a detailed plan to build the “Seoul Arena” on Thursday at the Seoul City Hall to potential investors and representatives of the performance and construction industries.

The arena is part of the city government’s plan to establish a new economic hub around the Changdong and Sanggye areas of northeastern Seoul, where 3.2 million people reside.

The plan was initially proposed in April and is expected to create 80,000 jobs.

After the briefing, the city government is accepting project proposals from private investors. It will review them and forward the most plausible ones to the Public and Private Infrastructure Investment Management Center of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

Construction of the arena is expected to begin in 2017 and be completed in 2020. The plan follows criticism that Korea lacks good performance venues, especially for K-pop and Hallyu singers, because most of their performances are held at sports stadiums, which are not that large.

Seoul Arena is going to have 20,000 seats and the city government expects it will significantly boost the performance industry.

“The Seoul Arena, which will be the only arena in the country, is going to attract many visitors and will contribute to the tourism industry of Seoul and also to balanced development of the region,” said Lee Yong-geon, who is leading the Four Northeastern Districts Project Team.

BY KIM BONG-MOON [kim.bongmoon@joongang.co.kr]

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