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

Seongnam FC is one of Korean football's most decorated clubs with seven league championships, three FA Cups, and two AFC titles to their name. Last season, they finished bottom of K League 1, dropping down to the second tier at a time of massive uncertainty over their future. This is a short guide to their home ground.

The club has been retained and again competes at the Tancheon Stadium in the city's Sports Complex. Tancheon has a capacity of 16,000, but a running track separates most of the fans from the field. The exception is behind the goal on the north end where the main fans' group watch the matches. There are seats and safe-standing in this section but the highlight is undoubtedly the giant magpie which rises and descends throughout the game.



Location:


Seongnam is a satellite city of Seoul with a population of approximately one million people. It is due south of Songpa-gu and one of the main features of Seongnam, the Tancheon river (which shares its name with the club's stadium), flows north into the Han River next to the 1988 Olympic Stadium.

Access to the adjacent river is what makes Seongnam's home ground a little bit special. Superb bike paths travel north and south, and, on match days, a good mix of fans cross the river alongside families flying kites or couples posing for selfies under the cherry blossoms. There's also a large military base close by, so don't be surprised to see helicopters, fighter jets, and cargo planes overhead.

Transport Options:

- subway: Yatap Station on the Suin Bundang Line is only a twenty-minute walk from the gates of the stadium. As with most places in Korea, taking the train is ideal and Yatap is only 5 stops south of Suseo Station. All high-speed SRT trains from Busan, Mokpo, Daegu, Daejeon, and Gwangju terminate at Suseo.
- bus: Some Seongnam local buses stop outside the stadium but for fans coming from farther away, the Intercity Bus Terminal is just north of Yatap Station. There are bus options to most towns and cities in Korea from here.
- parking: There is plenty of parking in the sports complex.
- bikes: If you have your own bike, and live somewhere in Seoul or the surrounding Gyeonggi province, riding to the stadium is a great day out. It is 15 km from the ground to the point where the Tancheon flows into the Han River in Jamsil.

Tickets:

- Online: If you can navigate the sometimes awkward Korean ticket sites, Seongnam 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 two main ticket offices at Tancheon Stadium. The first is just after you cross the river on the SE corner of the stadium, close to where the away fans enter. The other one is next to the club store on the NW corner.

You'll find the main Seongnam FC Supporters' group in the north stand. The magpie is looking splendidly wrapped in the team's colours. (Image: instagram.com/groundhopping_korea)

Where to sit:

Seongnam's supporters' club can be found in the north end, below the aforementioned giant magpie. There are seated sections on either side of the standing zone and tickets here will cost ₩12,000. With the club struggling on and off the field, this is the place where fans are more likely to voice their collective disapproval.

The away fans are in the south end under the stadium's only big-screen TV and scoreboard. Tickets are also ₩12,000 but a warning; these seats are far from the pitch.

There's a good view of the pitch from the two main stands at Tancheon. The VIP boxes and tunnel are in the west stand, the only part of the stadium with an upper tier. There's also a great view of Seongnam city and the surrounding mountains from here. The east stand is more basic but there's a lot of walking space behind the last row, where you'll find a nice display of the trophies Seongnam has won. Tickets for both stands are less than 20,000.

A view of the two-tiered main stand at Tancheon Stadium. (Image: instagram.com/groundhopping_korea)

Food:

Food trucks can be found next to the two ticket boxes. Hot dogs and chicken are among the items for sale. It is always nice to support the food trucks at K League games, so my recommendation is to buy from one before the game and, if you have time, eat locally post-game.

This photo was taken after Seongnam's season opener in 2023 versus Ansan Greeners. There are more food options outside the stadium. (Image: instagram.com/groundhopping_korea)

Drink:

The stadium has a very limited beer selection, and bags are checked before entering. The staff likes to show off the confiscated items by placing them on long white tables for other fans to see. Perhaps a warning not to bend the rules?

Merchandise:

The Seongnam FC store is one of the better ones in either division. They have a good range of jerseys, scarves, hats, coats, and smaller items like beer glasses and soft footballs. The store is next to the ticket booth on the NW corner. This is also the place where fans with tickets to the north stand will enter. As a result, it is usually pretty busy here on match days.

Seongnam FC's club store is on the NW corner of the stadium. (Image: instagram.com/groundhopping_korea)

Post game:

Yatap Station, a 17-minute walk from the stadium, is a popular area for fans after a game. You'll regularly spot black Seongnam jerseys on the busy streets, in the local bars or restaurants and cafes. 


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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