Mokpo City at Suwon City
Craig had to go to Oman Saturday night, so we planned to go to Suwon for the day, starting with a walk around the Fortress Wall and then going to see a second division game at the old soccer stadium. The day got off to late start, though, as we had had a late night Friday. I work nights every other week, and don’t get home until after 11 at night. As a result, we generally end up staying up too late most if not every night I work late. Friday was no exception, and we didn’t end up having time for the walk.
We found a bus which would take us straight from Gangnam Station to the grounds, so we were able to get there in under an hour. When we got there, we saw people in baseball uniforms milling around the baseball stadium, so we decided that a bit of Sunday league baseball would be a good way to kill the hour until kick off.
It took a bit of wandering around, but we finally found the one way in that was open and sat down behind home plate. As far as I could tell from the program, the game was part of a summer-long regional series. Pretty good. We’ve certainly seen games with a lower standard of play. We watched several innings before strolling over to the soccer stadium just in time for kick off.
You can probably guess the next part of the story. It seems to be a recurring theme of late. The field was being renovated. So, in the hour that we originally had to spare, we could have seen the workmen and looked up the alternate venue. I’m not sure why teams never seem to feel the need to share this information before game day. We make our plans well in advance. We have yet to learn that particular lesson, though, and ran to grab a cab to the Suwon World Cup Stadium where the game was actually being held.
We didn’t miss that much of the game, thanks to a cab driver with an obvious disdain for safety. He had a few unkind words with a security guard once we arrived, letting us get out much closer to the gate than the guard had wanted. We had assumed the game would be on the practice field, but it was in the main stadium, which must have been a bit odd for the players. The stadium was perhaps 5% full.
That can’t be very fun for the players. The following weekend, we saw a third division game that had a similar number of fans, but being held on a field with seating for 2-300, it seemed much livelier. If I were an athlete, I think I would rather play at the smaller venue, so it doesn’t seem like nobody turned up to watch.
Anyway, spring finally seems to have sprung, if somewhat ambivalently. The weather was sunny and warm, but windy, as though it might turn cold again at any second. Nice weather is really all I look for in a sporting event, so my needs were met. 🙂 If you actually want to read about either of the games, click the links to Craig’s blog. I think he even talks about goals and hits and runs and stuff…