KBO Attendance Up
Attendance for South Korea’s KBO is up 12% from a year ago, and the KBO has drawn 1,000,000 fans in the third fewest games (behind 2012 and 1995) in its 33 year history.
While there are likely many factors involved in this year’s increase in KBO attendance, at least so far in the young season, I have to think that one important factor is the KBO’s decision to increase the number of foreign players from two to three per team and the KBO’s increasing willingness to pay for foreign players of the caliber who used to go almost exclusively to Japan’s NPB.
After a couple of seasons with no foreign position players, the KBO’s new foreign player rules require that one of the three foreign players on each team be a position player. The nine foreign position players in the KBO this year are all off to fine starts, with all nine having an OPS of at least .821 and four of them over 1.000 (including most notably former San Francisco Giant Brett Pill and former Tampa Bay Ray Luke Scott), as of today.
The KBO’s 19 foreign pitchers have had a greater mix of performances so far, but that seems to me as it should be in a league that is putting an increasingly skilled baseball product on the field.