K-League 1 Gwangju FC is blowing football fever into its hometown Gwangju based on the strong ‘promoted team blast’. What is more important than marketing and publicity is thanks to being faithful to the basics of ‘fun soccer’.
According to the Korea Professional Football Federation, as of the 24th, the average number of spectators in Gwangju this season is 4,566. This is the second lowest number after Gangwon FC (4,000), the lowest among the 12 clubs in the first division. However, there are many positive factors. Since the 2011 season (7829 players), which was the first season to enter the K-League, it has not been able to cross the 4,000 mark every season, but this year is a different atmosphere.
Gwangju was relegated to the bottom of the first division in the 2021 season, and there were many worries about the last season spent in the second division. Only 697 people entered the home opener against Gimpo FC on February 19 last year. On March 16, against E-Land in Seoul, there were only 321 players.
Officials from the Gwangju club recalled last year, “We maintained more than 1,000 fixed spectators, but in the aftermath of the relegation, competition with the hometown baseball team, the KIA Tigers, was difficult.” KIA is a popular team that boasts the most wins (11) in professional baseball history, and has achieved an average attendance of 10,000 at home games four times.
However, Gwangju achieved a turnaround last season when manager Lee Jeong-hyo took the baton. After winning the second division (25 wins, 11 draws, 4 losses, 85 points) and successfully re-promoting to the first division, fans began to visit the stadium again. On October 9 last year, a whopping 5,861 people entered the game against Gyeongnam FC, watched the victory ceremony that lasted for two hours after the game, and returned home.
This season,메이저놀이터 Gwangju is creating a sensation with 5th place (4 wins, 1 draw, 3 losses, 13 points). 7,357 people entered the match against FC Seoul on March 5, which was the home opener. Coach Lee said, “I am grateful to the fans who visit the stadium even on the day of the KIA game. It’s embarrassing if I can’t play a good game,” he said, emphasizing responsibility. If it is ‘fun football’ backed by grades, the enthusiasm of Gwangju football fans will never fade.