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scouting

Groundhopper's guide to..... Anyang Stadium

FC Anyang is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and will be hoping to cap a landmark season with a first promotion to K League 1. They couldn't have gone any closer in 2022, taking Suwon Bluewings all the way to the 119th minute of the 2nd leg relegation-promotion decider. Since automatic promotion is possible this season, it is a great time to visit. This is our short guide to their home ground.

FC Anyang plays at Anyang Stadium, a multi-use arena that forms part of the city's Sports Complex. The stadium was built in 1986 (and is beginning to show its age) and has an interesting history. The Anyang LG Cheetahs occupied the ground before moving to the capital and becoming FC Seoul in 2004. This left the city and stadium without a professional club until FC Anyang's formation in 2013.

Similar to the Suwon Sports Complex, two other professional clubs are next door to Anyang Stadium. HL Anyang, six-time champions of Asia League Ice Hockey, play at the local Ice Arena and Korean Basketball League's Anyang KGC are at the slightly larger Gymnasium. The Complex also features a swimming pool and tennis courts.

The entrance to the Main Stand at Anyang Stadium before the Korean FA Cup Round 2 clash with fellow K League 2 side Busan IPark. (Image: instagram.com/groundhopping_korea)

Anyang Stadium is another bowl-shaped, small-sized arena with a running track, temporary seating, and only a couple of sections covered by a roof. Officially, the capacity is over 17,000 but most match-day seats are in the three temporary stands pitch-side of the original structure. The good news is that, unless you're in the away section, your seat will be close to the field.

[Read: KLU's season preview for FC Anyang]


Location:



Anyang Stadium is on the southern foothills of Bibong-san, next to the more impressive and popular Gwanak-san. A few hundred meters downhill is the Hakui-cheon, a tributary of the Anyang-cheon. Using the two rivers, you can cycle all the to the Han in around 70 minutes.

The area around the stadium has been undergoing some major reconstruction in recent years. It is very residential so, even on match days, expect to see families and children flying kites, playing football, or tossing a baseball in the carparks. Anyang also has a large ex-pat community and the hockey club, especially, is a popular attraction.

Transport Options:

- subway: Beomgye Station on the light blue Line 4 is 30 minutes (2 km) on foot from Anyang Stadium. The walk takes you through some residential neighborhoods before crossing the Hakui-cheon and passing a small park with a Vietnam War memorial. The floodlights are visible for the entire walk. Express subway trains and a small number of intercity trains stop at Anyang Station on the dark blue Line 1. 
- bus: Three buses (5625, 5626, and 5713) terminate near the stadium. They all begin in Seoul and pass various stops on Lines 1 and 2.
- parking: On-site parking is available but the stadium shares the lot with a swimming pool, a basketball court, and a hockey rink, so check if there are other big events on that day.
- bikes: Fans lock their bikes to pretty much any secure structure in the stadium's vast car park. The city has blue rental bikes which can often be found deposited on street corners.

Tickets:

- Online: Like most of the football clubs in Korea, FC Anyang sell their tickets on Ticketlink. Here you'll find a comprehensive breakdown of the pricing structure and a map showing which blocks (if any) are open in the stadium's original structure.
- Ticket booth: The ticket box forms part of the outer wall of the original main stand. Opposite is a ramp to take fans up to the old VIP boxes and the small club shop is just beside it. This is traditionally the busiest area outside the stadium as the main gate allowing access is located here.

The main ticket box is under the Main Stand at Anyang Stadium. (Image: instagram.com/groundhopping_korea)

Where to sit:


There are three temporary stands at Anyang Stadium; two long stands (East and West) and one behind the goals on the South side. 10 blocks on the original structure are listed on Ticketlink but the club rarely sells tickets for these areas. The one exception is for away fans. Tickets cost ₩12,000 for every seat or standing spot, in the original structure or pitch side in the temporary stands if they're bought on-site, but they're ₩10,800 online (excluding the ₩1,000 service charge).

Across the pitch, and in front of the original stand with the only roof at Anyang Stadium, is where the two dugouts are. (Image: instagram.com/groundhopping_korea)

On the stadium map, they'll be classed as 가변석 (seats next to the pitch) and 일반석 (original structure seats but not always available).

This is the West Stand, running alongside the pitch. The Supporters' Club will be on your right, behind the goals on the South side. (Image: instagram.com/groundhopping_korea)
The Supporters' Zone (featuring seats and safe standing) are in Blocks R11-13 and S1-3 behind the posts on the South side. This is, naturally, where most of the team's chanting originates from.

The Supporters' Club stands on the South end of the stadium. The Anyang players enter the pitch from here. Before walking out onto the field, staff blocks off the path connecting the two stands. (Image: instagram.com/groundhopping_korea)
The cheering section, aka the place where the cheerleaders try to look interested for 90 minutes, is in the West stand opposite the dugouts. If, like me, you're keen to see some interesting architecture or geographic features over the stadium wall, Anyang Stadium doesn't offer much.

Away fans are located in section C6, behind the corner flag on the Northeast side. Not only is there a running track between C6 and the pitch, but also block R1 of the main temporary stand. This isn't one of the better places to watch your team on the road. There is no discount for buying online.

Without a doubt, the away fans have the worst view in the stadium. (Image: instagram.com/groundhopping_korea)

Food:

 As is common across the country, food trucks are a big hit in Anyang. You can find them on the running track behind the South Stand, where the Supporters' Club watches the game. There's a huge screen above the trucks so you can watch the game as you wait 20 minutes for your chicken to be cooked.

Drink:

There are several CU Marts located in the bowels of the older structure. Access is simple and well-advertised. Toilets are usually located on either side of the store. Beer, tea, soft drinks, and water are for sale. You can drink at your seat but staff will often ask you to pour the beer into a plastic cup.

Merchandise:


FC Anyang plays in a distinctive purple kit which might be attractive to some supporters. The store is tiny with lots of stock sitting in baskets outside. You can buy jerseys, t-shirts,, masks, umbrellas, and other souvenirs. The store is easy to find, located between the main gate to the stadium and the ticket booths.

The stadium store is located between the main entrance to the stands and the ticket office. (Image: instagram.com/groundhopping_korea)



Post game:

The pedestrian streets around Beomgye Station exit 2 are an awesome place to hang out and eat, drink or party after a game. There are probably more places to get a meal here than in most small European towns. The atmosphere is lively, especially in summer, as people ravage friend chicken on plastic furniture.

If you have a bike, then riding along the two rivers is also a good way to spend an afternoon.


Finally, if you are planning to visit this stadium or any others in Korea, and haven't already done so, please download the Futbology app. It is a great way to find information about stadiums and keep track of all the teams and grounds you have visited.

FNR

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