SEOUL -- South Korea's web service giant Kakao joined a project to build the world's largest K-pop concert complex to be built in a northern residential district of Seoul as the main investor who will be in charge of operation and maintenance for 30 years. Construction is to begin in June 2022 for completion in 2025.
With an injection of 312 billion won ($256 million), the complex called "Seoul Arena" will be built on a 50,000-square-meter site provided by the Seoul government near a subway station to house facilities such as an 18,269-seat music performance hall, a 2,010-seat medium-sized performance hall, and seven theaters.
The project will be fully funded by private capital. Kakao will invest in a special purpose company, which will be in charge of design, construction, and maintenance, but its share was not disclosed. Kakao signed an agreement with the Seoul city government on April 4 after the project won government approval.
Based on its technology and content capabilities, Kakao said it would contribute to the globalization of K-pop. Seoul Arena would incorporate technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality into performance content and provide live performances and streaming services by linking various online platforms.
"We will focus on creating Seoul Arena complex cultural facilities and thoroughly prepare various programs to develop the content ecosystem and revitalize the local economy to further speed up the global spread of K-content and co-prosperity with local communities," Kim Sun-soo, chairman of Kakao's board of directors, said in a statement.
There are several iconic venues for K-pop concerts in Seoul, but none is solely dedicated to music-related events. "As a new landmark for Hallyu fans from all over the world, Seoul Arena will be a great help to strengthen the global competitiveness of the cultural city of Seoul," said Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon,
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