Momentum, 10 sellouts… Lotte fever in ballparks across the country now

The Lotte Giants, a popular baseball team in Korea, are making waves. Every ballpark they play in is packed to capacity, and many fans are turned away because they can’t buy tickets.

For Lotte’s game against the KIA Tigers at Sajik Stadium in Busan on April 4, all 22,990 tickets were sold. It was Lotte’s fifth home sellout of the season.

The KBO, which has completed 251 games as of May 5, has had a total of 24 sellouts, with Lotte having the most home game sellouts among the 10 teams. Lotte’s average home attendance was 13,741 (335,041 in 25 games), an increase of nearly 5,000 fans from the previous year, when it drew 8,773 (616,056 in 72 games).

Lotte’s popularity is not limited to home and away. Lotte fans filled the stands at five away games, including the April 1-2 game against the Doosan Bears in Jamsil, the May 13 game against the KT Wiz in Suwon, and the May 27-28 game against the Kiwoom Heroes in Gochuk. Thus, 10 of the 24 sold-out games in the league season, nearly half, were packed with fans who came to see Lotte.

The reason for the overflow crowds at Lotte’s games this year is that the team is playing well.

Lotte has shed its “bomde” (good only in spring) image and transformed itself into “topde” (leading lotte) by going on a nine-game winning streak at the beginning of the season and taking sole possession of first place. With 29 wins and 19 losses, Lotte is in a three-way tie for second place with the SSG Landers (32 wins, 1 loss, 18 draws) and LG Twins (32 wins, 1 loss, 20 draws).

Things are heating up for Lotte. Since the May 3 game against KIA in Gwangju, which ended a nine-game winning streak, Lotte has drawn crowds of 10,000 or more 22 times in 25 games.

In particular, Lotte’s six games against LG and KIA last week drew a whopping 128,595 fans. Baseball teams usually struggle to draw crowds for midweek three-game series, but when Lotte and LG went head-to-head for the top spot, each game drew more than 20,000 fans.

On Saturdays and Sundays, attending Lotte games has become a nightmare. Since May, seven of Lotte’s eight Saturday-Sunday games have been sold out. 안전놀이터

LOTTE head coach Larry Sutton expressed his gratitude to LOTTE fans for their support at home and away.

“The LOTTE fans are our 29th man,” Sutton said. “Their passionate support at home and away gives the players energy and motivation (to do better). I still get goosebumps when I hear them singing ‘Busan Seagull’ in the dugout,” he said.

“Even when we are losing, we fight hard to repay our fans for their support. The fans have helped our players become a ‘one team’. That’s why we’ve been able to maintain our top ranking.”

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