GANGNEUNG, March 22 (Korea Bizwire) — Now that the PyeongChang Olympics are in the rearview mirror, some have suggested utilizing one of the main venues as an indoor tennis facility.
Speaking to the press, Gangneung Mayor Choi Myeong-hee hinted at plans to revamp the Gangneung Oval – which was originally used for speed skating competitions during the 2018 Winter Olympics – into a tennis stadium.
“There are no tennis stadiums in the world without pillars that have 16 to 20 courts. We are currently in talks with the Korea Tennis Association to discuss the possibility of turning the speed skating venue into a tennis stadium,” Choi said.
“When we build a tennis stadium, there will be opportunities to host both domestic and international competitions. When detailed plans are arranged, we’ll have further discussions with Gangwon Province and the government,” Choi added.
With help from the Korea Tennis Association, Choi is hopeful that the proposed stadium will be run by the local government, thus contributing to the local economy and creating a tennis boom.
The fate of the Gangneung Oval was left up in the air after the Winter Olympics came to an end, losing ground as a training stadium to Taereung International Skating Rink where national skating teams often practice.
The news comes following reports that Korean theme park developer Icederby International is pushing to use the Gangneung Oval as a venue for professional ice sports competitions along with sports betting.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Gangneung city government, however, disputed the claims.
Gangneung Hockey Centre is another venue facing growing talks of repurposing. If the parties involved follow through on the talks and overcome disagreement over financial matters, the venue will be revamped as a year-round ice sports venue hosting figure skating, short track speed skating, and curling.
Gangneung Curling Centre, where the South Korean women’s curling team won its first Olympic silver medal, will host curling competitions this year and be used as a multi-purpose sports and arts center for the disabled in the future.