The Seoul Olympic Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in Seoul, South Korea and was built solely for the 1988 Summer Olympic Games and the 1986 Asian Games. The stadium has a capacity of 69,950 seats and is also known as Jamsil Olympic Stadium.
The stadium was designed by Kim Swoo-Geun and the construction work for the stadium began in 1977. The aim of the stadium then was to host the Asian Games in 1986. However, the stadium was made the centre of South Korea’s bid to host the Olympic Games in 1988 and was awarded so.
The stadium was built for an overall of $430 million. It ranks 4th in the list of most expensive venues built for the Summer Olympics.
The stadium was officially opened on 29th September 1984, seven years after the construction work began.
The stadium has not been used for any international sporting event since the 1988 Olympic Games. However, it is used by the Korea Football Association to stage football matches once in a while.
The first football match staged by the Seoul Olympic Stadium was an international friendly between Korea Republic and Japan. It was held on 30th September, 1984 and was won by Japan by a 2-1 margin. Takashi Mizunuma and Kazushi Kimura scored the goals for the Japanese team.
On 28th May, 2000, Yugoslavia played out a goalless draw with the hosts in yet another international friendly. This match was played ahead of Yugoslavia’s preparations for the 2000 UEFA European Championships.
Since the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the stadium lost its relevance as the newly built Seoul World Cup Stadium was used to host football matches for the Korea Republic football team.
In a bid to revitalize football, the Korea Football Association used the stadium for the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup. The match was between the home team and the Japanese, and was watched by 47,258 people from the stands. The result was a repeat of the score line from the match held at the same venue, 29 years back much to the disappointment of those attending the game.
The controversy regarding the Seoul Olympic Stadium is more of a controversy related to the 1988 Summer Olympic Games rather than the stadium.
Before the games were about to start, thousands of Koreans living along the streets of Seoul were rounded up. The ruling dictators of Korea Republic saw the Olympic Games as a stage to signal Korea’s arrival as a modern nation.
People were accused of doing things which they had not committed and were forced to concede. The event is remembered as one of worst atrocities of human rights violation in history.
Since 2015, the stadium has been used by newly formed football club, Seoul E-Land FC to host their football games.
Seoul E-Land FC finished eighth in the recently concluded K League Challenge. In the last game of the season, Seoul E-Land FC drew 2-2 against Bucheon 1995.