South Korea’s capital finally welcomes its first ever K-pop-focused performance venue, Seoul Arena. Seoul City announced the construction of the arena, which is located in the northern district of Dobong, is scheduled to be completed by March 2027.

The construction saw a delay due to financial reasons after an agreement between the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Kakao Corporation was settled a couple of years ago. Controversies arose during the corporation’s selection of a construction company, and the project faced delays, Dong-A Ilbo, a daily Korean-language newspaper, reported. However, a city official stated all issues raised last year have been resolved, and the project is currently proceeding normally.

A groundbreaking ceremony for Seoul Arena took place in early July with Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and Kakao CEO Chung Shin-a, alongside 250 people attending the event. Kakao, a South Korean Internet conglomerate, will helm the operation and management of the facility – which has the capacity of 28,000 people – for 30 years when the arena opens.

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The facility will embody the country’s first large-scale concert venue with a seating capacity of 18,269, and a smaller-sized performance hall with 2,010 seats. It will also include seven movie theaters, as well as several industrial and office spaces.

“Seoul Arena will become a landmark of Seoul’s northeastern region, leading the Gangbuk area to enjoy another heyday as the mecca of hallyu (Korean Wave) tourism,” mayor Oh said. “We look forward to the day when K-pop fans from around the world can enjoy performances at the Seoul Arena and ask for your continued interest and support.”

“Kakao will strive to create spaces and programs where global K-pop fans can experience not only music but also diverse K-culture and content,” added Chung, Kakao CEO.

The city assumes that the arena will draw around 2.5 million tourists annually and create new jobs.