Cheonan City has been picked as the first preferred bidder for a new national football training center. Cheonan Mayor Koo Bon-young announced on May 16 that the city was chosen as the best candidate in the race to host the new National Football Center (NFC).
The Korea Football Association (KFA) also disclosed that Cheonan City was confirmed as the first preferred bidder for the NFC. The second and third candidates were Sangju and Gyeongju, both cities based in North Gyeongsaeng Province.
According to the Korea Football Association, 24 municipalities entered the bidding for the new National Football Center, which is scheduled to open in June 2023, and the list of the candidate cities was shortlisted to eight after reviewing their financial situations and infrastructure, among other factors.
The KFA said the new facility will feature a 1,000-seat stadium, 12 natural and artificial grass pitches, four futsal fields, a multipurpose gym, a football science lab, a fitness center, a swimming pool and a dormitory for 300 players. “At this scale, it will be established as a representative facility in Cheonan along with Independence Hall, said Mayor Koo.
Mayor Koo attributed the “glorious result” to the single voice and efforts of the pan-Chungcheong people as well as Cheonan citizens. He said more than 60,000 people have participated in the city’s signature campaign in support of its bid for the new football stadium project. “There also have been strong support from various organizations including local political circles, sports organizations, civic groups, and people from all walks of life," he said.
Noting that Cheonan is the most suitable municipality to host the Korea Football Center, Mayor Koo drew attention to the city’s convenient location, transportation conditions and citizens’ support. “Cheonan is located in the center of the country and is connected to a wide-area transportation network, and has excellent cultural infrastructure such as arts centers and multiplex theaters. Above all, the city has easier access to Seoul-Busan Highway and other expressways,” he said. Cheonan is located 90 kilometers south of Seoul.
In addition, the city is determined to create an optimal football infrastructure without fine dust and provide one-stop licensing services during the construction of the soccer complex. The area around the planned NFC site can be trained year-round with disaster-free climate environment, and the area excluding the water source protection zone can be managed with the best natural grass field, he said.
Mayor Koo stressed that Cheonan has accumulated much experience in regard to football infrastructure as the city has successfully implemented large-scale construction projects related to the FIFA U-17 and the U-20 World Cup.
"Cheonan City is the best municipality to host the soccer complex, with its optimal location, excellent transportation conditions and football infrastructure, and citizens' interest and passion," said Mayor Koo. "With 700,000 citizens' support and determination, we will definitely guide the city to become the mecca of world soccer," he said.