Since the introduction of paid attendance in 2018, the 30,000 mark has been uncharted territory for local clubs. Even in the 2023 season, which kicked off the era of 10,000 average attendance, 30,000 was the exclusive domain of FC Seoul.
A whopping 45,007 people attended the Seoul World Cup Stadium on April 5, the day of the “Lim Young-woong effect. On May 5, the Seoul-North Korea match drew 37,008 fans, and on April 22, the Seoul-Suwon supermatch drew 31,186 fans.
Ulsan Hyundai, who won the K League 1 title for the first time in 17 years, will challenge 30,000 fans for the first time as a local club. The fans are the first to react to the ‘big match’. The opponent is Jeonbuk, the ‘Hyundai rival’. Ulsan will play Jeonbuk in the 27th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at Ulsan World Cup Stadium at 7 p.m. on the 19th.
Ulsan faced Jeonbuk at home in the opening match of this season, with 28,039 fans in attendance, falling short of the 30,000 mark. This time, they got the green light. When the doors opened to the general public at noon on the 16th, 24,400 seats were sold within two hours. Membership subscribers had five days of priority access, which was also the most of the season.
Ulsan has met Jeonbuk twice this season and is 1-1. In the opening match on February 25, Ulsan pulled off a thrilling come-from-behind 2-1 win at Anbang. On June 3, it was a different story at Jeonbuk’s home. Jeonbuk swept Ulsan 2-0.
Win or lose, 30,000 fans will be in attendance for the third meeting. There was plenty of fun on and off the field. Souvenirs were available at various booths. The water cannon will also return to beat the heat. The water cannon, which will be installed in Section S, will provide a cool stream of water to supporters cheering for Ulsan in the heat.
There will also be special guests. The “Goal Scoring Girls” team will be at the stadium to perform the halftime ground greeting. Before the game, six members of the team, including head coach Oh Bum-seok, will sign autographs and take part in a photo session. Gucheok Jangshin captain Lee Hyun-i will serve as a goodwill ambassador for the Green Umbrella Children’s Foundation and perform a pre-match sponsorship presentation ceremony. Ulsan’s Seonggol Youth Seol Young-woo will also be honored for his 100th K League 1 appearance. 메이저놀이터
On the field, there is an aura of excitement. Ulsan, which is looking for its first back-to-back K League 1 titles since its founding, is suffering from ‘abnormally low temperatures’. They have one win, one draw and three losses in their last five games. Two six-game winning streaks and one five-game winning streak have come to an end. The good news is that the teams below them are struggling to keep up. Ulsan has 57 points (18 W, 3 D, 5 L), the second-place Pohang Steelers have 46 points (12 W, 10 D, 4 L), and third-place Jeonbuk has 41 points (12 W, 5 D, 9 L). Ulsan leads Pohang by 11 points and Jeonbuk by 16 points. Jeonbuk has two wins, two draws and one loss in its last five matches.
The keyword for Ulsan is reversal. That’s how they can avoid an early two-game losing streak. Jeonbuk has nowhere to turn. They must take all three points to close the gap on Ulsan. In the sweltering summer, Ulsan will once again challenge the new winds of the K League.