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Groundhopper's guide to..... Suwon Sports Complex

Suwon FC earned a promotion to K League 1 in late 2020, which has come with the added bonus of enjoying considerable bragging rights over their relegation-threatened neighbors Suwon Samsung Bluewings at that time. The club is based in the Suwon Sports Complex and, with the Bluewings, forms part of the only city derby in the top flight this season. This is our short guide to their home ground.

Suwon Sports Complex is home to several professional clubs in Korea. Suwon FC plays from the 11,800-capacity multi-use Suwon Stadium built over 40 years ago. Next door, Suwon Baseball Stadium is the home field of 2021 Korean baseball champions, KT Wiz. Finally, the much older Suwon Gymnasium hosts a men's and women's volleyball team.

Suwon Baseball Stadium is part of the Sports Complex. 
Like fellow K League 1 side Gangwon FC, there is a track separating fans from the field,  except for a smaller, newly constructed temporary stand for the supporters club on the north side. It is a classic bowl-shaped multi-use stadium and, unless you have seats in the VIP area, there is no roof cover or shade to protect you from the elements. 

There is a scoreboard behind both goals and the four floodlights absolutely dominate the stadium from above the corners. In truth, despite a commendable effort to improve spectator experiences, this stadium is showing its age and is one of the least attractive in the league for neutral fans. One interesting feature, however, is the generous legroom in the stands. You won't find this much space in most modern arenas.

Location:

Suwon Stadium is just off the influential Gyeongsu-daero, a major tributary road from Suwon to the capital, Seoul. The area has undergone some major regeneration in recent years and is a short walk from some of the city's important historical places of interest.


The World Cup Stadium, where rivals Suwon Samsung Bluewings stumble about in the lower echelons of K League 1, is only 3 km southeast of Suwon FC's station. With the adjacent baseball stadium, Suwon is an easy double-header city or, if you're super lucky, even a tripleheader possibility.

Transport Options:

- subway: At 2.5 km door to door, Hwaseo Station, on the dark blue line 1, is the closest to Suwon Sports Complex. The much bigger Suwon Station, one stop south of Hwaseo Station, is approximately 4 km from the stadium. A walk from either station takes you through mostly urban landscapes. 
- bus: There are several buses (16-2, 19, and 37 for example) that can take you from Hwaseo Station to the complex. Meanwhile, from Suwon Station, red provincial buses, 2007 and 3000, travel to the stadium in slightly more comfort.
- parking: There is an abundance of parking in the sports complex, and it costs just 1,000\ won on match day.
- bikes: Fans lock their bikes to pretty much any secure structure in the vast car park surrounding the stadium.

Tickets:

- Online: If you can navigate the sometimes awkward Korean ticket sites, Suwon FC sells theirs on the Interpark app. There is a ₩1,000 service fee for using the app, but the stadium map is helpful to find the ticket that best suits your price range. However, given that the matches are never likely to sell out, you're better off buying from the stadium.
- Ticket booth: There are numerous places to buy tickets at the stadium, including from a portacabin on the northeast corner and another under the ramp which gives access to the premium seating area in the west stand. Lines, especially for a big game, are long so arrive early.

One of the ticket boxes at Suwon Stadium. This one is near the Gymnasium.

Where to sit:


The VIP sections, media seats, tunnel, and dugouts are all in the west stand. This is the only spot in the entire stadium with roof cover (and even then it is minuscule). Tickets cost ₩30,000-50,000.

Opposite is the east stand which will usually be the busiest on match day as you're likely to see families and groups of schoolchildren. The view is decent even though you're still quite far from the field. Here you'll find the club's cheerleaders. Turning around, you have a near-perfect view of the baseball field next door. 2 games for the price of one. Nice. Tickets for the east stand cost ₩15,000.

The East Stand is normally busy for a big match.
A small home section on the north side is directly behind the goal line. Songs and chants largely originate from here, with their musical instruments and flags. Tickets cost ₩15,000.

The home fans can be found in this temporary stand on the north side.
Away fans are located behind the goals in the south stand. As in most other blocks, there is no shade and if you're down the front, the view of the field isn't especially appealing. Tickets here cost ₩15,000.

The away fans' section is a long way from the pitch.

Food:

The Suwon FC food trucks are located inside the stadium, next to the running track on the northwest side. Chicken and hotdogs are among the options. There is a small store with very long lines next to them selling ramen and other snacks. 

Food trucks inside the stadium are located behind the north stand.

Drink:


Cass and Terra, in 330 ml can form, are ₩3,000 from the stores inside the stadium. The staff makes you pour them into paper or plastic cups and dispose of the cans there and then. Soft drinks, tea, and water are also available. A word of warning though: during the recent Suwon derby, some of the stores have one member of staff taking orders and fetching items from the fridges. Expect at least a 20-minute wait to be served.



Merchandise:


Suwon FC's neat color combination is likely to be popular with neutral fans. There's a small club store on the north side of the stadium and, from 2023, they are selling 20th-anniversary jerseys, flags, scarves, and other merchandise.

Post game:

The Suwon Hwaseong Fortress is a 20-minute walk from the stadium and a perfect place to go walking before or after a game. Suwon is also noted for its food culture so try some local galbi, which is considered the best ribs in the country.

If you're taking a train back post-game, there are several very busy pedestrian streets across from Suwon Station with an enormous array of food and drinking options. There are some great Indian restaurants in the area, too.


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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