Sono, the 10th team in men’s professional basketball, has finally found a home in Goyang City, which was somewhat expected given the circumstances, but was only possible because of the fans who traveled everywhere.
Sono was approved as a new member at the Korean Basketball League’s (KBL) 29th Extraordinary General Assembly and Board of Directors on March 21.
The KBL’s approval gives Sono, which has been preparing to start a franchise as a condition of taking over the Goyang Day One team, which was disbanded due to the parent group’s management difficulties, further momentum. The plan is to hold an inauguration ceremony in mid-September before the start of the new season.
Sono’s hometown has been confirmed as Goyang City, where Day One was previously based. Sono has already negotiated with the city and will hold a signing ceremony soon.
“We chose Goyang because we prioritized the happiness of our athletes,” said Sono head coach Lee Ki-wan. “It also means that we want to revitalize Goyang Sonokam (a Sono-owned resort facility). I also suggested to the mayor of Goyang that we change the name of the gym to Sono.”
Goyang is a former home of Orion and Day One, so it has a well-developed basketball infrastructure and a strong fan base.
The players who switched from Day One to Sono also wanted Goyang City, and Goyang City was interested in hosting Sono, especially since there is a resort facility called Sonokam in the city.
However, the situation was complicated by the fact that several local governments, including Pohang City and Incheon City, which wanted to relocate Day One’s affiliation to Busan, were in the running for Sono.
In particular, Busan City entered the negotiations with strong financial support, and there were talks that Sono might leave Goyang City.
Then, local basketball fans took action.
The group, which had been lobbying the local political system even before the disbandment of Day One to get the players to hold a press conference at the National Assembly, then went to Kim Jong-hyuk, chairman of the Goyang Party of the People’s Power, and appealed to him to “allow us to cheer for the players in Goyang City.”
In response, Kim traveled to the Goyang Chamber of Commerce and Goyang City to convince officials that the city should host a basketball team.
Goyang Mayor Lee Dong-hwan, who had seen Day One’s performance in the playoffs earlier this year, couldn’t turn a blind eye to the fans’ request and promised active support to Sono, eventually securing the team’s return.
The fans’ sincerity was enough to convince Goyang City to embrace Sono. It’s unclear what terms Goyang offered Sono, but it’s expected to include discounts on sports facilities and advertising.
“Until Day One was disbanded, there was no guarantee that Goyang would have a basketball team again, but dramatically, Sono announced its intention to buy the team and eventually settled here again,” said Goyang basketball fan Park Mo. “It’s a miracle for the fans who watched the whole process. It’s really exciting.”
The players are also happy to be back in their old stomping grounds.
Sono captain Kim Kang-sun said, “I’m grateful to be able to stay in Goyang City. “The atmosphere in the team is really good, and we will work hard and prepare to impress again,” said Kim.
Meanwhile, Goyang City is expected to appoint Sono ace and national shooter Jeon Sung-hyun, 32, as a city ambassador. 토토사이트 The plan is to utilize the Sono star and national team member to enhance the city’s image and raise its profile.