‘Seoul Arena’ focus reach-a-crescendo K-pop


Seoul arena will start construction soon Image: Kakao Corporation

Construction work on the ‘Seoul Arena’, the largest music venue in South Korea with the fulcrum being on promoting K-pop, is back on the rails and is all set to begin with full gusto. It is scheduled to be completed in March 2027 after a construction period of circa 40 months.

It is a long-awaited arena development to help South Korea capitalize on the K-pop explosion which is taking half the world by storm but is not getting a proper platform in its own country of origin. The ‘Seoul Arena’ was originally expected to be completed in October next year but is now targeted for 2027. The main player in the above development – the IT giant Kakao – blamed the delay on the rising costs.

‘kakao’ stated that the venue plans were back on track after a groundbreaking ceremony was held recently in the presence of the South Korean Internet conglomerate Kakao Corporation head honcho Chung Shin-a and the officials of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The sod-turning ceremony was held in Chang-dong, Dobong-gu in Seoul, South Korea.

The Kakao Corporation is a South Korean Internet conglomerate headquartered in Jeju City, South Korea. It was formed through the merger of Daum Communications and the original Kakao Incorporated in 2010. The company was renamed Daum Kakao in 2014. In 2015, it was rebranded once more, reverting simply to Kakao.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government is a local Government of Seoul, South Korea. The Mayor is elected to a four-year term by the citizens of Seoul and is responsible for the administration of the City Government. The Seoul Metropolitan Government deals with administrative affairs as the capital City of South Korea.

‘kakao’ further stated that the above event was attended by approximately 250 people including the Mayor of Seoul Oh Se-hoon, the Mayor of Dobong-gu (a Northeastern district of Seoul) Oh Eon- seok, the People Power Party (conservative and Right-wing political party in South Korea) representative Kim Jae-seop, the Democratic Party representative Oh Gi-hyeong, the South Korea First Vice-Minister of Culture Sports and Tourism Jeon Byeong-geuk, the ‘Seoul Arena’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Oh Ji-hoon, Kakao Entertainment CEOs Kwon Ki-soo and Jang Yoon-joong, the Hanwha Construction Division (a construction company that’s part of the Hanwha Group, a Fortune Global 500 company and Korea’s seventh-largest corporation) CEO Kang Seung-mo, and the other Government functionaries, the local Government officials, businessmen, and the local residents.

The Seoul Arena, scheduled to be built at 1-23 and 1-24 Chang-dong, Dobong-gu, Seoul, is a K-pop-focused music venue with a maximum capacity to accommodate 28,000 spectators. It will be a multicultural facility consisting of a medium-sized performance hall that can hold up to 7,000 people and will come armed with a movie theater and commercial space.

The K-pop, short for Korean popular music, is a form of popular music originating in South Korea as part of the South Korean culture.

It will be a private investment project in the form of build-transfer-operate (BTO). The Seoul Arena Company Limited will be responsible for financing the project, supervising the design/construction and operating it for 30 years once completed. Kakao will participate in the project as the representative investor of the ‘Seoul Arena’.

Compared to the growing popularity of K-pop in many countries around the world and which has now almost become a global phenomenon, South Korea does not boast a proper music venue and has been unable to meet the demands of the K-pop lovers. Once the above facility goes on stream it will further catapult the global popularity of K-pop.

Concerts held at the sports facilities do not provide exalted experience to music buffs as these venues are not tailor-made to hold concerts. But the ‘Seoul Arena’ which will boast cutting-edge acoustics, clear sightlines, tech trappings, and bespoke infrastructure will provide the right ambience for the music aficionados. The venue also plans to draw major music acts.

The scheme of things also comprises setting up a movie theater and also devoting a space which will provide the perfect platform to promote K-content.

Priority will also be accorded to maintaining community ties and working for the development of the local community, encouraging the local cultural bodies to hold cultural events in the music venue and hiring more people from the marginalized section of the society.

Averred Oh Se-hoon, Mayor of Seoul, “The ‘Seoul Arena’ will help in the massive growth and promotion of the South Korean culture and especially K-pop which has become a rage all over the world.”

Concluded Chung Shin-a, Kakao Corporation head honcho, “Kakao will pull out all stops to ensure that the ‘Seoul Arena’ construction work is a smooth affair and helps in promoting the local culture of South Korea and further promote K-pop whose popularity is soaring globally by the day.”

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