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The "48"

Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:16 am
by Cyclops
Doesn't have quite the same ring to it as the English "92", but it's the (current) number of football grounds in Korea's 3 divisions. My mindless quest to see a game at all of them began in 2002 when there was only a 10 team K-League to worry about (and I foolishly thought I'd only have 1 year in which to visit them!), but fast forward 8 years and due to league expansion and the endless moving of teams I'll have seen games at closer to 80 past and present league grounds by the time I finally complete the set next weekend. Naver and Google searches haven't turned up any Koreans who've attempted to go to all the grounds (or even shown the slightest interest in it) and no-one on here's admitted to it, so I guess I'll be on my own once Cheonnam Yeonggwang v Gwangju Gwangsan at the world-famous Yeonggwang Sportium kicks off next Saturday afternoon. In some ways I would have liked to finish at something a little less obscure, but it's also darkly appropriate that it turns out to be a meaningless match in the middle of nowhere where I'll doubtless be the only fucker there!

Look forward to welcoming new members to the fledgling "48 Club" some time in the future. Membership benefits include a warm can of Cass Red, a commemorative dried squid, a mention in Mipo's soon-to-be-published book, and a home visit from those men in white coats. You know what you have to do... :smt117

Re: The "48"

Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:54 am
by anamerican
I'm sure some news man somewhere would be interested in this story. Get in touch with some local news media. They might want an interview.

Do you have ONE picture of each ground? Why not post them on flicker or somewhere? I'd be VERY interested in seeing the images of each ground and the images online would act as documented proof for the skeptics who doubt you actually did this. We can send people to the images through twitter.

I'm going to contact some of the hosts I know at Seoul's TBS eFM to see if I can get them to interview you on air about it. It's worth a shot anyways. PM me you're phone number.

Re: The "48"

Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:09 pm
by Cyclops
Thanks for the offer (and I mean that), but I posted here simply because it would be absurd to finish something so momentous in complete silence, plus I realise a few other members of the community on here are genuinely interested. The general Korean public have zero interest in the 'visiting all the grounds' thing, so any media coverage could only possibly take the 'look at the latest crazy foreigner we've dug up' angle. I've really got better things to do than give interviews to ignorant journalists that will be twisted for their own agenda and have no benefit for me.

Regarding the proof thing, I have random photos of some trips and no doubt feature on other people's photo collections, but the vast majority I haven't taken a camera simply because I'm too lazy! Envelopes of old ticket stubs and bus/train tickets tell parts of the story, but basically I know I've been to them all because I've kept a running list, and that's good enough for me. I certainly have no plans to re-visit a dozen grounds simply to 'gather evidence', so I'm happy to keep it as a personal goal accomplished and share it with the little group of people on here who have been 'part of the journey', rather than making a big noise to the general public and being accused of being either a fraud or lunatic or both!

There are various football grounds blogs and websites in the UK and Europe that specifically cater to people who love groundhopping and/or watching football in mad places. If approached for an interview by any of them I would be more than happy to give my time and dig up some random stubs and pics to accompany it, especially "European Football Weekends" because I love their site and they did a really flattering review of Bromley's ground, but I don't have any plans to hire Max Clifford and try to pimp out my services just yet!

Either way, this is a niche story that is not suited to the mainstream Korean audience in my opinion, but thanks for your suggestions and support.

Re: The "48"

Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:37 pm
by sjc_three
Truly, we are not worthy.

Re: The "48"

Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:35 pm
by MipoFanatic
The Non-League Daily back in the UK might get a chuckle out of it...

Re: The "48"

Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:24 pm
by sjc_three
Cyclops wrote:...especially "European Football Weekends" because I love their site and they did a really flattering review of Bromley's ground.

Just found this on their facebook page. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVflDebr8Y8
Can't believe I never did this ground in all the years a lived on the doorstep. Looks lovely. Sweet little piece from a Lewes fan as well, with all the characters you get pottering around those non league grounds.

Re: The "48"

Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:55 pm
by Holyjoe
Definitely an impressive achievement, and given the fluid nature of the Korean league structure then it's always going to throw up additional opportunities to add to the tally!

Re: The "48"

Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:51 am
by Rothesay Saint
Very impressive indeed and congratulations. :-)

Is anyone else on the board even close to seeing all of the grounds. I managed about half of the 48, through watching FC Seoul, Seoul United and Ansan Halla.

Re: The "48"

Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:57 am
by MipoFanatic
sjc_three wrote:
Cyclops wrote:...especially "European Football Weekends" because I love their site and they did a really flattering review of Bromley's ground.

Just found this on their facebook page. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVflDebr8Y8
Can't believe I never did this ground in all the years a lived on the doorstep. Looks lovely. Sweet little piece from a Lewes fan as well, with all the characters you get pottering around those non league grounds.

Nice. Love the traffic pylons placed randomly around the ground, and the half-completed (minor) construction projects that seem to take 10 years to finish. All that was missing to make it the perfect non-league scene is the farm-esque groundskeeper equipment scattered around in full public view (often near the pitch, creating a health-and-safety hazard for the players). :smt100

Believe it or not, I've been to the Dripping Pan in Lewes. I actually play on a pitch in a public park these days that has a similarly steep hill on one side. Gets me all teary and nostalgic. :smt089

Rothesay Saint wrote:Is anyone else on the board even close to seeing all of the grounds.

Not even close for me. I've done:

    Busan Asiad
    Ulsan Munsu World Cup
    Ulsan Munsu World Cup Auxiliary (no longer counts, as Mipo Dockyard have moved to the far-less-appropriate Ulsan Civil)
    Daegu World Cup
    Daegu Civil
    Daegu Riverside Football Ground (doesn't count - for the 2003 Daegu Summer Universiade)
    Gimcheon Main, Gyeongbuk (doesn't count - for the 2003 Daegu Summer Universiade)
    Gumi Civil, Gyeongbuk (doesn't count - for the 2003 Daegu Summer Universiade)
    Pohang Steelyard
    Namhae Sports Park Main Pitch (doesn't count - for 2003 FA Cup)
    Gwangju World Cup (aka "Guus Hiddink")
    Jeonju World Cup (aka "Jeonju Castle")
    Daejeon World Cup (aka "Purple Arena")
    Bucheon Civil (no longer counts, thanks to SK Corp.)
    Anyang Civil (no longer counts, thanks to GS Corp.)
    Seoul World Cup (aka "Sangam") - I only browsed around outside: no match that day, and I missed the tour time slot... do they still give tours at Sangam?

So really just 15 grounds in total - but sadly, only 8 actually count for the illusive "48 Club". Not bad for one year in Korea, though!

The grounds I most regret not seeing are the Suwon World Cup (aka "Big Bird") and Chunnam's Gwangyang Stadium (aka "Dragon Dungeon"). Almost made it to Chunnam - I was 15 minutes away from the ground and the match was called off due to rain... grrr! The match was re-scheduled for a weekday (as was the other Chunnam-Busan fixture that season), so it wasn't possible. I could have gone to Suwon for a game, but it was late in the season, I was falling out of love with Busan I'cons (now I'Park) by that point, and I became distracted by the Sunday League side that I was playing in. In hindsight I should have gone, though. :smt090

My updated (and realistic) wish list includes:

    Busan Gudeok (there wasn't a club playing there back in 2003)
    Gimhae Public (Gimhae City of N-League)
    Changwon Football Centre (love that Yank spelling!)
    Suwon World Cup

Always interested in recommendations for N-League/K3-League grounds that are football specific (or at least don't have a running track), have real grass, and have an interesting/quaint environment (or grounds that have at least 2 of those 3)...

Re: The "48"

Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:49 am
by anamerican
The only little list I've started is the list of Seongnam games I've gone to, but not where they're held.

Re: The "48"

Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:09 am
by Gerd Bibimbapper
Cyclops wrote:Thanks for the offer (and I mean that), but I posted here simply because it would be absurd to finish something so momentous in complete silence, plus I realise a few other members of the community on here are genuinely interested. The general Korean public have zero interest in the 'visiting all the grounds' thing, so any media coverage could only possibly take the 'look at the latest crazy foreigner we've dug up' angle. I've really got better things to do than give interviews to ignorant journalists that will be twisted for their own agenda and have no benefit for me.

Regarding the proof thing, I have random photos of some trips and no doubt feature on other people's photo collections, but the vast majority I haven't taken a camera simply because I'm too lazy! Envelopes of old ticket stubs and bus/train tickets tell parts of the story, but basically I know I've been to them all because I've kept a running list, and that's good enough for me. I certainly have no plans to re-visit a dozen grounds simply to 'gather evidence', so I'm happy to keep it as a personal goal accomplished and share it with the little group of people on here who have been 'part of the journey', rather than making a big noise to the general public and being accused of being either a fraud or lunatic or both!

There are various football grounds blogs and websites in the UK and Europe that specifically cater to people who love groundhopping and/or watching football in mad places. If approached for an interview by any of them I would be more than happy to give my time and dig up some random stubs and pics to accompany it, especially "European Football Weekends" because I love their site and they did a really flattering review of Bromley's ground, but I don't have any plans to hire Max Clifford and try to pimp out my services just yet!

Either way, this is a niche story that is not suited to the mainstream Korean audience in my opinion, but thanks for your suggestions and support.


Fantastic achievement, Cyclops - these dickhead sceptics who "don't believe you" must have heard of the terms 'DNA' and 'scene'... :lol:

I too am not worthy, but count myself as something of a 'groundaholic' too.
Always up for a game being played somewhere I haven't been to before, but my current 'project' (ongoing) is Korea/Japan World Cup stadia - in some ways I almost don't want to go Jeju because that will complete the full set for Korea!
In time, I'd like to get Germany going too...

I don't keep records myself, but I'd be curious to see how many grounds I've been to in England/Wales, Japan, and Oz (mainly NSW Premier League)). Cheers.

Re: The "48"

Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:01 am
by sjc_three
That's set me off thinking too:
K-League:
Busan Asiad
Ulsan Munsu WC
Pohang Steelers
National League:
Busan Gudeok
Ulsan Civil
Suwon Civil
Yesan City Stadium
Gimhae Public Stadium
Changwon Football Centre
(Hoping to tick off Yongin and Chungju in the next month or so)
Others:
Dongnae for the league cup final
(With any luck Namhae in a couple of weeks if we can just get past Chungju in the first round of the Sports Festival!)

Yup, I've got a long way to go!! - although to be honest, I'd be satisfied with ticking off all the National League grounds (need more Saturday fixtures next season) - and maybe seeing a couple of the big K-League games, Suwon v Seoul or something like that, just for the experience.

Re: The "48"

Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:49 am
by Piggy
Thats an impressive achievement Cyclops.

I've got a similar groundhopper mentality, its a good as way as any to see a bit of the country. I've done fifteen so far, which is a bit disappointing, especially the relatively low number of K3 grounds. I've been to some of the K League stadiums more than once which doesnt help I suppose.

I've also been getting to a few baseball games, thats a bit easier to complete, with only Lotte Giants (where I'll go at the weekend) and KIA Tigers (which I wont get to until next season if at all) still to visit.

K League

Daegu
Daejeon Citizen
FC Seoul
Gangwon
Gwangju Sangmu
Incheon
Jeonbuk
Seongnam
Suwon


National

Daejeon HNP
Incheon Korail
Yesan
Chungju Hummel (missed game though so I suppose it doesnt really count)


K3

Seoul Martyrs
Seoul Utd (saw high school game)


Baseball

Doosan Bears
LG Twins (same stadium as Doosan Bears)
Hanwha Eagles
Nexen Heroes
Samsung Lions
SK Wyverns

Re: The "48"

Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:12 pm
by Gerd Bibimbapper
I'm on 9 World Cup stadiums (=all except Jeju) plus the following grounds:

- Tancheon
- Gwangyang
- Goyang
- Suwon Sports Complex
- Changwon (Gyeongnam, 2007)
- Steelyard
- Asan Sports Complex

Re: The "48"

Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:38 pm
by MipoFanatic
Gerd Bibimbapper wrote:- Asan Sports Complex

Is it grass or artificial turf?