Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Football Match Not
Today I went to the World Cup Stadium in Mapo-gu to meet Tuttle to watch the FC Seoul football match. In all this time here in Seoul, I've never gone to a football game. And I still haven't. We met outside the subway station exit, where my friend JI and Tuttle's friend J joined us.
A problem was soon evident. The place was JAM PACKED. Today is Children's Day in Korea, so public places, especially parks (and apparently ball parks, too) are very crowded. Further thwarting our efforts was that today children were being admitted free to the stadium.
We started out trying to find the end of the line to buy tickets. It wrapped over half way around the World Cup stadium! Along the way, J gave up and left us (in hindsight, he was the smart one). We decided at this point to give up on getting in the stadium on time, and came up with an alternate plan. Go eat lunch, wait for the crowds to thin out, and join the ball game in progress.
Alas, we weren't the only ones with this idea. We walked around the underground of the stadium, in what must be the largest Home Plus I've ever seen. Both the food court and other restaurants were so crowded we gave up, and returned to the GS25 where we originally met! Even the GS25 had a long line just go get inside. We found a table, had a simple lunch listening to the crowds yelling from the stadium. The game was about halfway over, and we could still see a long line to buy tickets, so I just gave up and came home around 4pm.
However, I'm going to try again. I'll be out of town the home game, but I can catch the one after that. I'm looking foward to it.
EDIT: I heard on the radio station this morning that the attendance was nearly 61,000 fans at the game, smashing a 2007 record of 55,000. Considering that the stadium only holds about 68,000, it was indeed a crowded day at the soccer field. Well, it probably wasn't too crowded ON THE FIELD, just the rest of the stadium!