This is one of those posts where I start off by listing all of our failed attempts at trying to attend one thing or another, or in this case a Samsung Lions baseball game. Our first attempt occurred some time last year at the old Samsung Lions stadium downtown. We arrived way too late, spent hours sitting in traffic, and then eventually gave up. This year, when the new stadium opened in a less congested part of town, we anticipated shorter lines and easier parking. Wrong and wrong. We arrived over an hour before game time, discovered all the parking lots were full, received some unhelpful flyer showing us other places to park, circled the stadium about a million times, and once again returned home without seeing the baseball game. Finally, we got some sense into us and took public transportation to the park, which was quick and about a million times less frustrating. As they say, third time’s a charm.
Not only did we take public transportation, but we arrived super early to guarantee we got tickets. At the ticket booth we noticed a lot of Halloween decorations and were immediately confused. Were Koreans celebrating Halloween early? Do Koreans celebrate Halloween (they don’t…not really). Why would there be a Halloween theme at a baseball stadium in August? And then we saw a sign for “Blue Ghost Night,” which only confused us even more. What did a “blue ghost” have to do with baseball? What did it have to do with a cooling mist tunnel?
Several zombies greeted us as we located our seats. Our “cheap seats,” located behind third base, gave us a great view of all the action. To the right of the jumbotron, an open grassy area allowed people to set up day tents (so cool) and to the left, above the outfield seats were lounge chairs, umbrellas, and inflatable palm trees. Also in the outfield section were “couples seats” – a wooden bench made for two. Overall, the stadium was much smaller than what we’re used to in the States, but what it lacked in scale, it more than made up for in charm.
But enough about the stadium. Everyone knows that food is one of the best things about attending a baseball game! What about the food?
We wandered down to “Food Street” a hallway of “street carts” and “food trucks” located in what felt like the stadium’s boiler room. If it was 90 degrees outside, it had to have been at least 20 degrees warmer in Food Street.
Food street included several restaurants that Korean fried chicken, Korean street food, a pizza place, and a convenience store where you could buy bottled drinks and snacks. Other food establishments located outside of food street included Burger King, KFC (!?), several ice cream and churro places, and a pretty nice sports bar/gastro pub sort of place. There were also quite a few convenience stores scattered throughout the stadium. We even saw quite a few families bringing in coolers of outside food! The best part was that the food was not much different in price from what you could find outside the stadium.
The Hangul version of “food street” sounds phonetically like “Pu-deu Seu-Teu-Lis.” If you say it really fast, I guess it sort of sounds like “food street.” Kind of…
For about $16 you could get a combo meal that included a drink, some baked lasagna looking thing, a pizza, potato salad, coke, and I think a popcorn or milkshake? Can you imagine how much that would cost at a baseball game in the States? Meanwhile, a skinny gourmet personal pizza was less than $8.
mini kegs worn as backpacks so beer could be served on draft in the stadium
our tickets cost about $11.50 per person – and they weren’t even considered to be cheap seats
one of these is not like the other
If you find baseball games boring in the States, you should definitely attend a game in Asia. I’ve always loved baseball, but in Korea (and I’m guessing, Japan), it’s next level. In addition to the standard “go team go” sort of chants, each player has his own song, which is sung (accompanied by inflatable clapping sticks) every single time the player comes up to bat. The opposing team’s players also had their own set of songs/chants that the fans sang when their team was up to bat. Some of the songs had been rewritten to include the player’s name. When we heard na-na-na-naaa, na-na-na-naaa, hey, hey, hey we thought, hey, we know this one, and blurted out, “GOODBYE” much to the confusion of everyone around us. We slowly sunk back into our seats and mumbled through the next verse before we realized that “Goodbye” had been replaced with 박한이 / Park Han-yi, the player’s name. Once we figured this out, we proudly sang, Na-na-na-na, Na-na-na-na, Hey, hey, hey 박한이 at the top of our lungs, as if we were Park Han-yi’s biggest fans.
In addition to all the chanting, singing, and water spraying, there were cheerleaders, guys on stilts, an emcee/cheer coordinator, more roaming zombies, and some drummers who constantly got soaked by the water cannons.
As it turned out, apparently “blue ghost night” meant that a certain section of the audience was doused with water cannons throughout the game. Our best guess was that “blue” = water, “ghost” = the ponchos passed out and worn by the sections that got wet, and “night” = night game because otherwise it would be too frickin’ hot. Other “blue ghost night” activities included face painting, spooky decorations, a mist tunnel, water gun fights, and several splash zones. And if that didn’t get you soaking wet, well, then the rain certainly did.
PS: the Lions won 11 to 7. Guess all our singing worked.
DETAILS | How to Buy Tickets to Samsung Lions Baseball Game
- Tickets can be purchased online via a Korean website. Note: if you’re a foreigner, you most likely will need your alien registration card to purchase tickets online and pick them up at the gate.
- Buy the tickets directly at the Samsung Lion’s Park ticket windows before or on game day. Weekends can be really crowded so make sure to arrive early! We didn’t have any problem purchasing our tickets at the window.
- For schedule information, visit the Samsung Lion’s English website. For more information on buying tickets for baseball games in Korea, click here.