Construction resumes on Seoul’s K-pop concert venue

Featured Image: Kakao Entertainment

Kakao Corp has said work on a new Seoul concert venue dedicated to K-pop performances has resumed following cost-related delays.

It was announced in 2022 that Korean internet conglomerate Kakao had signed an agreement with Seoul’s Metropolitan Government to invest in a new music arena in the city.

Kakao is now a major player in the K-pop industry after it received approval from South Korea’s antitrust regulator to acquire a controlling stake in agency SM Entertainment. Kakao and its subsidiary Kakao Entertainment made its intentions known to increase its ownership to 39.87% in 2023. Kakao had originally held a 4.9% share in SM Entertainment, which represents artists such as aespa and NCT Dream.

Seoul Arena will boast a 28,000 capacity for standing performances, while there will be a total of 18,269 seats. Kakao also has plans to construct a cultural complex connected to the venue, including a mid-size concert hall with a capacity of 2,010, and a movie theatre.

Initial plans for the venue stated it would open in October 2025, but following delays the arena is now predicted to open in the northern district of Dobong in March 2027.

The construction of Seoul Arena had originally commenced in November last year, with the groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for December. However, Kakao asked to postpone the ceremony because of cost increases.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new arena finally took place earlier this week, and was attended by 250 people including Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon and Kakao chief executive Chung Shin-a.

“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,” Oh said.

Seoul Arena is expected to attract more than 2.5 million visitors a year.

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