A graphical rendering of the proposed design for Seoul Arena / Courtesy of Seoul City

The construction of Seoul Arena, the first K-pop-centered cultural venue to be built in the capital of Korea, has resumed after a delay with the goal of completing it in 2027.

According to the Seoul city government, the groundbreaking ceremony took place Tuesday at the construction site in northeastern Seoul’s Dobong District. Some 250 people, including Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and Kakao CEO Chung Shin-a, attended the event. Kakao, the tech behemoth and an operator of Korea’s top mobile instant messenger, has joined forces with Seoul to set up Seoul Arena, which can hold up to 28,000 people.

Inside Seoul Arena, there will be Korea’s first arena-sized concert venue dedicated to popular music, which will have a total of 18,269 seats, as well as a mid-sized performance hall with 2,010 seats.

If this new arena opens its doors in 2027 as planned, it is expected to help Korea tackle a shortage of concert venues. Despite being the birthplace of K-pop, the country has been having a headache for not having a sufficient number of places for its singers to perform.

The construction of Seoul Arena commenced in November 2023, and the groundbreaking ceremony was initially scheduled for December. However, the construction work was put on hold after Kakao asked to postpone the ceremony, citing an increase in cost as a reason.

Kakao also faced allegations that it gave preferential treatment to a certain company while selecting a construction company for the project. However, 스포츠토토존 an internal audit revealed that the allegations were not true and Kakao ended up picking Hanwha Engineering & Construction as its partner.

With Seoul Arena, the city aims to provide a space where different artists can take the stage while interacting with a large number of spectators. With cutting-edge acoustics, a flexible stage and improved visibility of spectators, Seoul Arena plans to enrich the experience of both artists and their fans.

The city predicts that the arena will be able to draw some 2.5 million tourists annually and create new jobs.

“Seoul Arena will become a landmark of Seoul’s northeastern region, leading the Gangbuk area to enjoy another heyday as the mecca of hallyu (Korean Wave) tourism,” Oh said.

Chung said, “Kakao will strive to create spaces and programs where global K-pop fans can experience not only music but also diverse K-culture and content.”

Meanwhile, a plan to establish another concert-specific arena in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, has faced a setback amid Korea’s lack of large concert venues.

The Goyang city government originally planned to build a 20,000-seat arena with CJ LiveCity — a subsidiary of entertainment giant CJ ENM — but it recently terminated its agreement with the company after it halted the construction work in April 2023, mainly due to difficulties in raising funds.

Gyeonggi Province said Monday that it would “pursue business with a new vision and method

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