MANILA, Philippines – The Seoul Metropolitan Government and South Korean IT giant Kakao announced on Monday, April 4, that they will be building a brand-new complex exclusively made for K-pop artists.
According to the Korea Herald, the state-of-the art complex, which will be called Seoul Arena, will be built in Seoul’s northern Dobong-gu area. The construction will begin in June, and it is set to be completed by October 2025.
The music-specialized concert venue with world-class sound systems will reportedly consist of 19,000 seats, with a maximum capacity of 28,000 people with standing room. Aside from that, the complex will also offer a mid-sized venue for smaller concerts that can hold a maximum capacity of 7,000 people, alongside other commercial facilities.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government also mentioned that the venue will include augmented reality and other notable technologies, particularly digitally enhanced services which allow for concert live streaming.
Kakao added that it expects to attract an estimated 1.8 million visitors per year, as it will serve as an avenue for cultural content, which will significantly contribute to South Korea’s economic recovery.
The project is estimated to cost a whopping $257 million.
Pulse News reported that Kakao will be in charge of maintaining the operations of Seoul Arena for 30 years after it opens, while the city government holds the rights of ownership to the venue.
The project is a part of Kakao’s ongoing community outreach program that focuses on engaging with local culture groups and small-business owners. “Kakao is constantly thinking about what we can do to make a better world together with our society. We will thoroughly prepare various programs for revitalization so that we can further spur the global spread of K-contents and win-win with the local community,” Kakao board chairman Kim Seong-soo said in a press release.
However, even with Kakao officials dubbing the complex as South Korea’s “first and largest” venue dedicated to K-pop artists, they have a formidable opponent.
In October 2021, entertainment company CJ ENM began its construction of the CJ LiveCity Arena, a similar music arena that is slated to have 20,000 seats, with a maximum capacity of 40,000 people outdoors.
As of writing, major concerts featuring top artists are held at the Olympics Stadium or other outdoor venues. – with reports from Samantha Onglatco/Rappler.com
Samantha Onglatco is a Rappler intern under the Life & Style and Entertainment section.