K-League - Gwangju FC - Gwangju World Cup Stadium

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K-League - Gwangju FC - Gwangju World Cup Stadium

Postby willamangiro » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:47 pm

I cant seem to find a thread on the Gwangju World Cup Stadium on here, so thought I might as well post up the ground guide that I've just written for my website. You can check out: http://kleaguetour.weebly.com/gwangju-v-gangwon.html for photos, but i'll copy the guide itself below. I hope its helpful to anyone going there....

Gwangju World Cup Stadium

Match: Gwangju FC v Gangwon FC
Score: 1-1
Attendance: 4515
Date: 1st April 2012

Club: Gwangju FC
Stadium Name: Gwangju World Cup Stadium, also known as the Guus Hiddink Stadium
Capacity: 44,118
Manager: Choi Man Hee
Owned by: Citizen Club
Website: http://www.gwangjufc.com

Best way to get there: Gwangju is one of the major cities in Korea, and is exceptionally well connected to the rest of the country by bus (direct, to most major urban centres). We hired a car for the weekend, thanks to a combination of the match being on a Sunday, and the lack of a supporters bus going from Wonju. At less than 100,000w for a very nice saloon car, this didn't represent bad value for 4 of us going to the match. There is a large carpark next to the stadium, also used by the adjacent shopping complex.

Best place for a beer: The seating in the stadium is exposed to the elements, if you sit at either end of the ground. If it's a nice sunny day, then arriving early for a few beers in the ground wouldn't be the worst idea in the world. We stayed over an hour away, in a pension by Dolmori shore- as a result I can't really comment on what nightlife Gwangju has to offer.

Best local restaurant: Motorway food was eaten far too regularly over the weekend, due to the excessive amount of driving to get to Gwangju / other interesting places in the local area. For dinner we went to the supermarket and bought food for a barbeque; the cut of pork we purchased was Mokshim; it was relatively cheap, and was a significantly better (and less fatty) alternative to Samgyeopsal. Highly recommended! If you want to eat at a restaurant pre-match, there is an ample selection of chain eateries in the shopping centre by the ground.

Tickets: We paid 10,000w per ticket, which seems to be the standard price for away fan admission in Korea. The tickets are available from a booth just outside the away turnstyles.

Food inside the ground: I didn't use the refreshments stall on this occasion, and never even encountered it during my time in the stadium! I can only imagine it was hidden in some far corner under the stand that I never tracked down!

The Stadium: This stadium is a real mixed bag. Architecturally, this is one of the best in Korea. There is a wonderful arch that stretches across the top of the main stand, reminiscent of the Galpharm Stadium in Huddersfield. However, there is a terrible athletics track that leaves the spectators very far from the action. If you are on one end of the ground you feel very distant from the game indeed. The stadium has two open ends, and covered sides, in typical Korean style. The seats are spacious and the views are unrestricted, but the athletics track really ruins this ground. The stadium is also far too large for its tennants; the attendance of over 4000 wasn't a bad crowd, but it felt absolutely tiny in a stadium which can hold ten times that amount.

The Fans: There was very little atmosphere in the ground, thanks mainly to the excessive size of the stadium. A small band of Gwangju 'ultras' appeared to be making some noise at the far end of the ground, but it was hard to tell as they were so far away! The club have employed cheerleaders to dance in the main stand throughout the match, and encourage the crowd to sing / chant during the game. This is awfully similar to the kind of entertainment seen at American sports, but in this case I didn't find it to be much of a problem; Gwangju's fans need all the help they can get!

The Match: The game finished 1-1, and upon reflection this was probably a fair score. The two teams were well matched; Gangwon just edged the first half, and Gwangju came back into the match as the game progressed. Gangwon took the lead through Kim Myung Jung, and came agonisingly to claiming all three points, until a Milic equaliser in the 95th minute of stoppage time! It was a cruel blow, but a point was probably the correct result on balance.

Overnight Stay Factor: Gwangju doesn't have too much to offer from a touristic point of view, but some of the region outside of the city is pleasant enough. We stayed close to the seaside by Dolmori shore, which was a nice (if unspectacular) beach area. It may be worth staying around here if you don't fancy doing both legs of the journey to/from the match on the same day, but it is by no means a must see area of Korea. 5/10.

Where to stay: The 'House Full of Joy' Pension (near Hampyeong) was our chosen guesthouse for this trip. It was reasonably priced; a room that could fit 4 or 5 people was only 100,000w. There was an excellent barbeque area, and a nice balcony attached to the room. The cooking equipment was well stocked and clean. The only potential problem could be that the pension is 'Korean style'; there is only one bed, with other people sleeping on the floor. The bedding for the floor was quite thin, so you may want to avoid this place if you need a thick mattress to sleep well. The pension was over an hour from Gwangju, so you would need a car to stay here.

What to see: We popped into Bulgapsa temple (close to Hampyeong) on the way to the pension; it was a pleasant enough temple, but nothing really out of the ordinary. Hampyeong is quite a nice town, and we spent some time relaxing here on Sunday morning. We played a game of football at the local elementary school- it had excellent astroturf pitches and basketball courts. This was followed by a brief hike to the top of a large hill that overlooks the town. There was a national park nearby, but we were unable to go here as we were a little short of time. This was the extent of the activities on offer in the area however. If you go at the right time of year (end of April - beginning of August), the area hosts a popular butterfly festival annually.

Tips: Be careful where you park in the car park by the ground. If the nearby shopping centre is busy you could be waiting for a long time to leave at the end of the match!
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Re: K-League - Gwangju FC - Gwangju World Cup Stadium

Postby anamerican » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:18 pm

The home and away fans are about 39meters from the goals.
The sides are about 26meters from the pitch.

I have NO interest in visiting this place.

My recommendation is for Gwangju to build some stands for 10,000 at Jeonnam University's pitch and play there. LOL
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Re: K-League - Gwangju FC - Gwangju World Cup Stadium

Postby Rothesay Saint » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:32 pm

anamerican wrote:The home and away fans are about 39meters from the goals.
The sides are about 26meters from the pitch.

I have NO interest in visiting this place.

My recommendation is for Gwangju to build some stands for 10,000 at Jeonnam University's pitch and play there. LOL

I go jogging at Chunnam University's pitch sometimes, using the running track there. So not really an ideal solution, maybe Gwangju can groundshare with Gwangsan, no running track there :)
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