Reconstruction of Sajik Stadium with acceleration, will Lotte really show its will?

According to various circles, the city of Busan is drawing a blueprint to reconstruct the Sajik Stadium in the form of an open stadium with a capacity of 21,000 seats, starting construction in 2025 and aiming for completion in 2028. The home team, the Lotte Giants, decided to renovate the Busan Asiad Main Stadium near Sajik Stadium for temporary use during the construction period. Busan City plans to announce the final service results in March by gathering opinions from Lotte clubs, experts, and civic groups. 스포츠토토

The ‘reconstruction of Sajik Stadium’ has long since become indifferent beyond resignation. It was a repertoire of regular pledges made by candidates in various elections, but there was no actual movement by the elected. It often ended in ‘desktop administration’ such as collecting opinions from all walks of life and holding public hearings, and then fizzled out. Citizens of Busan, who were quite proud of the outdated stadium that did not fit the title of ‘Gudo’, showed interest in the Sajik Stadium reconstruction pledge every time, but eventually turned their backs on it not being realized. Even when Busan Mayor Park Hyeong-joon made a pledge during his candidacy, there was more cynicism than expectation, but after his inauguration, the atmosphere is rapidly rebounding as active movements to practice the pledge continue.

Despite these moves, there are many tasks to get to the start of the new Sajik Stadium.

Once the basic plan, which determines the specific shape of the stadium through the final service results, is established, the necessary financing plan must be established. Even after that, when administrative procedures such as feasibility study and central investment review are completed, design bidding, basic design, and project ordering must all be completed before construction can begin. Daejeon Baseball Dream Park, which is currently under construction, took about three years from the establishment of the basic plan in July 2019 to the start of construction at the end of last year. The city of Busan drew a blueprint to start construction two years after the announcement of the final service results, but it is unclear whether it will be carried out properly. In order for this order to be carried out as planned, various procedures must be resolved quickly.

Therefore, attention is focused on the financing plan, which is the first step to start construction.

Daejeon Baseball Dream Park decided on a financing plan in December 2019, about five months after establishing the basic plan. Hanwha Group, the parent company of the home team Hanwha Eagles, decided to invest 43 billion won, or 30.9% of the construction cost. From the stage of designing the Baseball Dream Park, it was outlined through behind-the-scenes discussions with the city of Daejeon, and after the establishment of the plan, it showed ‘credit’ that moves quickly. Through this, Hanwha was entrusted with the exemption of stadium usage fees and the authority to operate and manage the stadium for 25 years.

Although city and national funds are invested in the construction of the baseball field, the division of the club’s parent company, which is the actual user, cannot be left out. Looking at the previous process of building a new stadium, the share ratio of the club’s parent company had a significant impact on the driving force of the process. Lotte Group, which will bear the cost of Sajik Stadium reconstruction along with Busan City, is bound to draw attention.

Lotte Group donated 100 billion won to the construction of an opera house currently under construction on the site of Busan’s North Port. From 2008 to 2017, 100 billion won was donated sequentially for 11 years. Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin, owner of the Lotte Giants, said in a meeting with Mayor Park in July last year that he would promote the Sajik Stadium reconstruction without a hitch. In the cost-sharing of the Sajik Stadium reconstruction, attention is focused on whether that will will be realized.

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