KBO League’s ‘Crazy’ Popularity Surpasses 6 Million First-Half Attendance for the First Time in History!

The KBO has proven its explosive popularity with numbers and records. The first ever 10 million fans is no longer a dream.

The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) announced on Thursday that “the KBO League has surpassed the 6 million mark in just 418 games with a cumulative attendance of 6,057,323 fans, as a total of 64,201 fans gathered at five stadiums across the country.”

This season’s professional baseball has been a hot topic since the start of the season, with popular teams Kia Tigers and LG Twins battling for the lead, and “Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin (37-Hanhwa Eagles) returning to the KBO after 12 years.

The numbers speak for themselves. The team quickly surpassed 1 million fans on April 9 after 70 games, 2 million fans on April 28 after 148 games, and 3 million fans on May 16 after 217 games. The pace continued to accelerate as the season progressed, reaching 4 million fans on June 1 after 285 games and 5 million fans on June 15 after 354 games. By then, the pace was second only to the 332 games in 2012.

The fierce battle for the top spot at the end of the first half played a crucial role in mobilizing 6 million fans before the end of the first half. In the final series of the first half, No. 1 KIA and No. 3 Samsung Lions went head-to-head. Going into the series, the two teams were separated by 2.5 games, while Kia and second-place LG were separated by 1.5 games, meaning that the outcome of the series could flip the standings.

However, after a poor start to the season with a 1-3 record last week, Kia bounced back against Samsung with a late rally and explosive hitting to complete the sweep and finish the first half in first place, 3.5 games clear of second-place LG. It’s been seven years since their championship season in 2017. In front of 17,093 fans at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, South Korea, on April 4, with the score tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, KIA scored five runs off of Oh Seung-hwan in a spectacular finale.

At Jamsil Baseball Stadium, which hosted the largest crowd of the day with 19,372 fans, the Lotte Giants, who were down 0-6 by the end of the eighth inning, rallied with three runs in the top of the ninth to keep fans of both teams on their toes. Closer Kim Taek-yeon gave up a two-out RBI single, but ultimately proved why he is the No. 1 candidate for this year’s Rookie of the Year award, as he secured a 6-3 win and a sweep of the series for Doosan.

The Gocheok Sky Dome, which held 12,819 fans, was also hot. Second-place LG, which had been looking particularly weak with a 3-7 record before this game 먹튀검증 against league-low Kiwoom, had the last laugh in the final game of the first half. Starting pitcher Lim Chan-kyu led the way for LG with a six-inning, one-run quality start. Tablesetters Hong Chang-ki and Shin Min-jae combined for four hits and two runs to help the team finish the first half in second place.

The Hanwha Eagles, looking to rebound under new head coach Kim Kyung-moon, also won their final game of the first half with a 13-5 victory over KT Wiz in front of 8330 fans to snap a three-game losing streak. At Changwon NC Park, the sixth-ranked NC Dinos proved their nemesis status once again as they defeated the fifth-ranked SSG Landers 2-0 in 12 extra innings. SSG, who went 0-3 in the semi-finals last year, was unable to break the bad blood this year and finished the first half of the season with an absolute disadvantage of 1-9 against NC.

With an average attendance of 14,491 fans per game over the 418 games, the KBO League is on pace to become the most attended league in history. The KBO League’s highest attendance in a single season was 8.468 million in 2017, and with 302 games left in the second half of the season, 10 million is not out of the question.

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