Brand new artificial turf glows bright green under newly installed LED stadium lights at the 17,000-seat Gocheok Sky Dome. The clubhouses and skyboxes for VIPs have been repainted and renovated, while vendors are rushing to stock up on chimaek (fried chicken and beer).

In Seoul on Wednesday and Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will play the first games of the Major League Baseball season. With Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto of the Dodgers up against Yu Darvish and Ha-seong Kim of the Padres on the field, 2024 is turning out to be the sport’s moment in Asia.

With that kind of star power, tickets for the games sold out in minutes. On the streets of South Korea’s capital, there’s been a noticeable uptick in the number of people wearing MLB baseball caps, as well as gear from local pro teams Hanwha Eagles, Lotte Giants and Kiwoom Heroes. Tens of thousands will descend on the indoor venue for the games and related events just south of the Han River traversing Seoul.