The relocation of professional basketball team KCC brings an end to a 22-year association with Jeonbuk.
With the professional baseball team and professional basketball team packing up, Jeonbuk is now left with only the Hyundai Football Club as a professional sports team.
The conflict over the Jeonju Indoor Gymnasium, which KCC has been using as its home stadium, is the ostensible reason, but there are also speculations that the company’s marketing aspect was taken into account.
Demand for “Jeonju Indoor Gymnasium to be vacated” sparked rumors of relocation
The rumor of KCC’s relocation, which surfaced a couple of times during Mayor Kim Seung-soo’s tenure, suddenly surfaced again in the middle of this month.
It was reported that the city of Jeonju asked KCC to vacate the Jeonju Indoor Gymnasium, which the team uses as its home stadium.
The city reportedly made the request because Chonbuk National University, which owns the gymnasium site, has decided to demolish the gymnasium by 2025 to build the Campus Innovation Park, a national project.
However, the new gymnasium promised by Jeonju was not scheduled to be completed until 2026 at the earliest.
For KCC, the team would have to live without a home stadium for at least a year. The professional basketball world criticized the move as ‘impossible’ and ‘disrespectful’.
In particular, the new home stadium is a project that Jeonju has been actively promoting since 2016 to prevent KCC from relocating.
However, the construction of the new home stadium was delayed, and it was only ordered earlier this month, seven years later.
If various administrative procedures were delayed, completion in 2026 was not guaranteed.
Suddenly, some media outlets reported that KCC was considering moving its venue, and on the morning of the 30th, the KBL held a board meeting and suddenly approved the change of venue.
The city of Jeonju later said, “We decided to postpone the demolition of the gymnasium until after the new home stadium is built. We will complete the new home stadium by 2026,” he said, but KCC’s mind was already made up.
Jeonju “gave us a reason to leave”
Beyond these surface reasons, there are analysts who believe that KCC’s decision to relocate may have been driven by marketing considerations.
The actual use of the home stadium was not a problem for the time being.
This is because the city of Jeonju has postponed the demolition of the gymnasium until 2026 and promised that the new stadium will be completed by 2026.
However, the rumors of KCC’s relocation became a reality less than a month later.
As a result, some people in Jeonju said, “It was like a slap in the face when we wanted to cry.”
The interpretation is that the KCC wanted to relocate to a big city with a big marketing effect and took advantage of the demolition of the gymnasium when the issue arose.
In terms of crowd mobilization, Jeonju is at a disadvantage compared to big cities.
A similar interpretation was made by some when KCC seriously considered relocating in 2016.
At the time, the aging facilities of Jeonju Indoor Gymnasium, built in 1973, were cited as the reason for the move, as well as the lack of space and poor player waiting rooms.
However, Jeonju promised to resolve the home stadium issue while urging the team to relocate, and KCC decided to stay under pressure from fan backlash, so the relocation theory sank below the surface for a while.
At the time, KCC was said to have considered a water source in the Seoul metropolitan area as a new home.
KCC’s final decision to relocate to Busan is also a big city.
Fans outraged…soccer is the only professional sports team left
As the news of KCC’s relocation broke, Jeonju’s website crashed as fans flooded in.
Dozens of comments were posted on Jeonju’s website in the morning alone.
Fans criticized Jeonju’s lukewarm response and expressed their disappointment with KCC’s move.
“The relocation of the KCC is embarrassing and shows the incompetence of Jeonju City,” said one fan, demanding that the city punish those responsible and apologize.
Another fan said, “I wonder if the relocation of KCC was done for profit or loss,” and a citizen expressed the need for the mayor to express his position.
With the relocation of KCC, Jeonbuk’s only professional sports team is the Hyundai Motors soccer team.
Prior to KCC’s relocation, the Jeonbuk-based professional baseball team, the Ssangbangul Raiders, was disbanded in 2000.
Since then, Jeonbuk has been trying to attract a 10th professional baseball team, but this has also been unsuccessful.
Jeonju accused of “relocating for short-term gain”
Jeonju City couldn’t hide its displeasure. It criticized the city for using the home stadium issue as an excuse to make a quick buck.
The city of Jeonju issued a statement shortly after the decision to relocate the KCC Aegis, saying, “KCC did not express any position to the fans and the city of Jeonju, their home for 23 years, during the two months that KCC leaked the relocation rumors through the media and presented the relocation proposal to the KBL Board of Directors.” “We express our deep regret for the hasty and unilateral decision,” the city said.
“The KCC did not even notify the city of Jeonju, let alone consult with it about the relocation,” the city said. “The time spent with citizens and fans was not on the minds of the KCC, which pushed forward with the relocation in a hurry, seeking only short-term benefits.”
“The demolition of Jeonju Indoor Gymnasium, the current home of Jeonju KCC, has been postponed until 2026, and we have clearly stated that we plan to complete the new home stadium and auxiliary stadium to be built in the Complex Sports Town by 2026.” “Despite having the conditions to fully settle in Jeonju, the team pushed forward with the relocation as if it were a scripted move,” he said.
The city of Jeonju also pointed out that “this can only be seen as a mockery of the city, its citizens, and KCC basketball fans.” 메이저사이트
In response, KCC said, “We apologize to the fans of Jeonju who have supported us for 22 years,” but also indicated that Jeonju’s passive attitude was the cause.
KCC President Choi Hyung-gil said, “We (KCC) were asked to build the new gymnasium ourselves, and in May, when I saw that the city of Jeonju and the KBO were discussing plans to utilize the baseball stadium, I felt a sense of regret that ‘basketball has taken a backseat,'” adding, “I tried to be patient and restrained to make things go smoothly, but the situation has become unbearable.”