The Heat of Volleyball
Korea’s December is the winter, with temperatures dropping and snow falling. Otherwise, it is also the season of indoor sports and the audiences are passionate opposed to the cold. Volleyball and basketball are the representative indoor sports in Korea. Between them, The UOS Times watched a volleyball game of Seoul-based Woori Card Volleyball Team and visited Jangchung Arena.
The season of volleyball starts in October. Therefore, you can enjoy volleyball even in the winter. Its popularity is increasing as the years go by. According to a viewer ratings agency Nielsen Korea, the viewer ratings for volleyball matches exceed one percent despite of cable broadcastings, about twice for baseball games’, the most popular sports in Korea. Additionally, the number of audiences hit the new record last season.
The volleyball season runs from mid-October to early March for about five months, with only the top three teams in league advancing to the post season to determine the final winner. At this time, the post season is called “spring volleyball” because it takes place in mid-March. The fans of each team hope their teams can play volleyball in the spring. A total of 13 professional volleyball teams are based in different regions of Korea.
Introduction of Jangchung Arena
Jangchung Arena is a stadium located in Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul city, and is currently used by Woori Card Volleyball Team in the men’s and GS Caltex KIXX Volleyball Team in the women’s division. Jangchung Arena has the capacity about 4,500 people, relatively small compared to other teams’ stadiums. However, because Jangchung Arena is the only stadium located in Seoul, a large number of spectators flock to the stadium to watch the games. Ticket prices range from 10,000 to 12,000 KRW based on regular seats. Since there are various discounts, it is recommended to check the club’s website before purchasing.
Volleyball teams are holding various events to attract the audiences. The day when The UOS Times visited, Korean singer group god was invited to celebrate the first game in Jangchung Arena. Thanks to the celebratory performance, Jangchung Arena attracted more spectators than usual and there are many people enjoying performances by singers as well as volleyball. In fact, celebratory performances in volleyball are not common because they are only performed when something special happens. However, in case of an opening game or anniversary, you can see the celebration, so you can enjoy K-pop as well as volleyball if you check it in advance on the club’s website.
Various events as well as celebratory performances boost the cheering fever at the stadium. Among them, there is an audience-participating event, which is designed to make the audiences cheer passionately. Inside the stadium, there are relay cameras that record not only the games but also the audiences. The volleyball teams hold the event to distribute sponsors’ products. The audiences can receive those products if they are caught on cameras with enthusiastic supports. Through this process, the atmosphere of the stadium heats up and all the spectators enjoy the enthusiastic cheering together. If you are a passionate person, The UOS Times would recommend that you participate in this event. Also, there is a kiss-time event during breaktime, so if you are a couple, it could deserve consideration.
Snack events are also held at stadiums. Simple meals are distributed for free to the audiences before or during game. Thanks to the event, the audiences can enjoy the game without starving even in the evening hours. In the game The UOS Times attended, cheerleaders were handing out jerky to the audiences during the break. Even when the game is finished, the event is not over. After the match, if the team wins, it would offer fans a chance to have photo time with the players through a draw. Therefore, even if the game is over, if you win the lottery, you can take pictures with the players. As such, the team prepares various events to invite many fans. However, these events often change from game to game, so you should check them on the club’s website or social media in advance.
- Go to the stadium at least 30 minutes before the game starts! You can see the players training to warm up before the match. Also, you can feel the heat of the stadium by watching cheerleaders and fans’ passionate cheering before the game.
- Each player has their own cheering songs when they score or serve, so if you are familiar with these before the game, it would be more fun. Also, you can participate in cheering and several events.
- Look around the fan shop! Fan shop is located inside the stadium and sells players’ uniforms, and you can often witness fans cheering in uniforms purchased here. Also, fan shop sells souvenirs with club mascots, so even if you do not want to make a purchase, just watching them is recommended.
- Wait for the players getting off work! After the game, you can also take pictures with the players if you wait for players’ leaving work. This is a fixed course for enthusiastic volleyball fans. You can interact with players such as photo time and giving gifts on this way home. Also, you can meet the players closer, so if you have time to spare, it is recommended to wait them on their way home.
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