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Official Review by Eric Bynum, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Munhak Baseball Stadium is home to the three-time Korea Series Champion SK Wyverns. The stadium, located in Incheon, is easily the nicest stadium in Korean professional baseball. It opened in 2002 and holds just short of 30,000.
The Wyverns play in the extremely popular 8-team KBO (a 9th team will start play in 2013). Every Monday is an off day, and games will end in a tie after 12 innings. The popularity of baseball in South Korea is tremendous. The chance to see professional baseball in South Korea is something that baseball fans everywhere should try to experience.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The best part about food at Korean stadiums is you can bring anything into the stadium that you want. You can always find different vendors set up outside around the stadium selling chicken, pizza, and a lot of other Korean cuisine. So whether you want to just grab some fried chicken from a vendor or bring your favorite dish from home, feel free to do so.
Munhak is also one of the stadiums that has western food at the stadium. Inside there is a Burger King and around the stadium you will find shops that sell snacks and drinks. You will find the usual Coke, beer, Gatorade, ice cream, chips, and other snacks all throughout the stadium.
One of the best parts of the stadium is the BBQ seats in right field. You can buy special tickets for the seat where you can have a Korean BBQ during the game.
The Wyverns fans are some of the best in the KBO and you can never really go wrong with Korean baseball fans anyways. They are always so passionate and it makes for a great atmosphere no matter where you are watching a game. They will always have their thundersticks ready to cheer and chant all game long.
Throw in that the stadium is the nicest in the country and the atmosphere is one of the best. You have the option of sitting with the rabid SK fans, or you can chill out in left field on the grassy hill with a picnic.
The opposing fans typically travel well making for an electric atmosphere at just about every game.
The area is nice and the stadium sits in a large sports complex along with a soccer stadium and other venues. Everything is fairly new, but there isn't a lot around the stadium within walking distance. However, the stadium is on the subway line allowing access to other parts of the city with ease.
Fans are always great at Korean baseball games. SK has been a very good team in recent years and they are hugely popular. Their large following allows for a lot of fans to attend games making it a great atmosphere. The fans are typical passionate Korean fans who love to sing, chant, and cheer on their team non-stop during the game.
Like all other teams in the country, they love their thundersticks. They use them a lot making a lot of noise to cheer on their team throughout the game.
The stadium is on the Incheon Subway line 1 giving it easy access from any part of Incheon or Seoul. The stadium is a very short walk out of the Munhak Stadium Station where you will also find the soccer stadium among other venues.
Access around the stadium is easy. I was able to move around nearly the entire stadium. There are a few areas right behind home plate that will require a special ticket, but since the majority of the seats are general admission you are free to move around. I was able to move around most of the stadium to watch the game from different spots and take photos from different angles.
The restrooms are abundant and there is usually a short wait if one at all.
Easily the best stadium in Korea, Munhak Baseball Stadium is definitely a place for every baseball fan in Korea to visit.
When you add in the overall beauty of the stadium, the features here you won't find elsewhere (ex. grass berm), the cheerleaders, and the passionate SK fans this is one of the best times you can have in Korean baseball. Choose the general admission ticket so you can move around the stadium and get a feel for where you'd like to watch the game before deciding where to stay.
Games can sell out and fans will start forming lines outside the ticket windows three hours before game time. With 2 hours before first pitch the lines can be very long, so if you don't get tickets before game day, be sure get there early.
Most Korean baseball stadiums have little or no extras, but Munhak Baseball Stadium is one of the few that does. The BBQ seats in right field are a nice addition, but with limited seating there the seats can go fast. The best extra is the grass berm in left field. Bring a picnic and a blanket and grab a spot to enjoy some of the best baseball action in Korea.
I love Munhak Baseball Stadium and it is easily the best stadium in the country. It is the newest stadium that is used in the league, but that will soon change as a few other teams are building new stadiums. The SK Wyverns are a very popular franchise and you will have a great time visiting. So grab a few friends and a cold drink and head on over to a game. I think you'll love Munhak Baseball Stadium as well.
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