Soccer in Seoul
The practical details of where to see local and national football teams play...
Where can I watch football (soccer) in Seoul?
There are two professional football clubs in Seoul: FC Seoul, and Seoul Eland. FC Seoul play at the World Cup Stadium in the west of Seoul. The World Cup Stadium is also known as Sangam Stadium after the neighbourhood that it is located in. To reach the World Cup Stadium by subway, take subway line six to World Cup Stadium Station. Buses 571 and 710 also serve the World Cup Stadium. Seoul Eland play at the Seoul Olympic Stadium in the south-east of Seoul. The Seoul Olympic Stadium is also known as Jamsil Stadium after the neighbourhood that it is in. Although the stadium has a capacity of almost 70000, Seoul Eland have built a temporary stadium within the main stadium. This temporary stadium has a much smaller capacity of around 5000 seats but as the temporary stands are built over the running track, supporters are closer to the pitch than they would otherwise be. To reach the Seoul Olympic Stadium by subway, take subway line two or subway line nine to Sports Complex Station. As the stadium is served by the same bus and subway stops as the Jamsil Baseball stadium, a complete list of buses that stop by the Olympic Stadium can be found at the Doosan Bear’s website.
Where can I watch the Korean National Football Team?
The Korean National Team play their home matches in various stadiums around the country. If they play in Seoul then they usually use the Seoul World Cup Stadium. Stadiums in Goyang, Suwon, and Incheon are also sometimes used for national team matches and can be reached using Seoul’s subway or local bus system. National Team fixture details can be found on the Korean Football Association’s official website.
How can I watch football in the cities surrounding Seoul?
Within Gyeonggi Province, the cities of Goyang, Suwon, Incheon, Bucheon, Ansan, Anyang, and Seongnam all have professional football teams. Details for these teams can be found at their websites below:
- Goyang Hi FC (in Korean)
- Suwon Samsung Bluewings
- Suwon FC (in Korean)
- Incheon UTD (in Korean)
- Bucheon FC 1995 (in Korean)
- Ansan Police FC (in Korean)
- FC Anyang (in Korean)
- Seongnam FC (in Korean)
When can I watch football in Seoul?
The football season in Korea runs from March to November with a short break in July due to the summer monsoon. Matches are usually played on Saturday or Sunday afternoon, with midweek games on Tuesday or Wednesday evening. Seoul Eland sometimes play their weekend home matches at a slightly earlier time due to scheduling clashes with the nearby baseball stadium. FC Seoul’s match schedule can be found on the club’s website. Seoul Eland’s match schedule can also be found on the club’s website (in Korean).
How much does it cost to watch football in Korea and how can I purchase match tickets?
Tickets can be purchased online at the club websites of both Seoul Eland (Korean) and FC Seoul. These websites also contain pricing information. Tickets for both FC Seoul, Seoul Eland, and other Korean football clubs can be purchased online on Interpark (Korean). Tickets are also available at the stadium unless the match is sold out. Online tickets can be collected at the stadium ticket offices on match day if there is no time for tickets to be sent by post. To collect these tickets on a match day, make sure to be in the queue for pre-purchased tickets rather than the queue for purchasing tickets at the ground. It is also possible to purchase season tickets for both clubs.
How is the Korean football league system structured?
There are four tiers in the Korean league system. Currently there is only promotion and relegation between the top two tiers. The top tier of Korean football is called the K-League Classic and the second tier is called the K-League Challenge. The third tier is called the National League and the fourth tier is called the K3. Teams also compete in the Korean FA Cup. The winners of the FA Cup and the top three teams in the K League Classic are eligible to compete in the Asian Champions’ League. The top two tiers of the Korean league system also include two teams made up of players undertaking their national service. All other teams are made up of Korean players with a maximum of four foreign players allowed on each team, three of whom may be from non-Asian countries.
Can I eat or drink inside the stadium?
The rules on what foods and drinks can be brought into the stadium vary depending on whether the match is a domestic match or if it is an international match (matches involving the National team or AFC Champions’ League matches). Within the Seoul World Cup Stadium there are several convenience stores where food and drink can be purchased. Drinking alcohol in view of the pitch is allowed in Korea and beer is available for purchase within the stadium. Inside the Seoul Olympic Stadium there are several food and drink stalls where food and beverages can be purchased.
How can I play football in Seoul?
It is possible to join a team that competes in either the Seoul Saturday Soccer league (http://seoulsaturdaysoccerleague.com/sssl/scripts/ShowPage.php) or the Seoul Sunday Soccer League (http://www.ssflkorea.org/). Both leagues have three divisions. Some of the teams are targeted at players of certain nationalities. Matches are usually played on artificial turf or sand pitches as there are very few grass pitches in Seoul. It is also possible to join a local Korean amateur team. Almost every district in Seoul has a district sports pitch and details for local Korean amateur teams can often be found at these district sports pitches. There are also several groups on meetup.com that arrange football matches.