Multi-purpose arena construction nears approval

After 12 years of failed private and public initiatives, it seems Copenhagen will finally get its multi-purpose arena

The political approval process that could lead to the construction of a multi-purpose arena in the Ørestad district got underway last week at City Hall.

Noting that efforts to build such a facility in greater Copenhagen have been underway for 12 years, Mayor Frank Jensen said: “I'm very pleased, but I must say that there have been many bumps in the road to where we are today.”

Construction of the 15,000-seat arena will be managed by a partner company created by the city in collaboration with property investment fund Realdania. They are each to pay 325.25 million kroner to the new company for the construction of the arena on land owned by city development firm CPH City & Port (By & Havn).

This is 125.25 million kroner more than last a proposal put forward last year. Those plans stalled after one of its co-financers, US-based AEG, withdrew.

The indoor arena would be significantly smaller than Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium and has a retractable roof that allows it to host indoor events. But it would fill a gap between Parken’s 55,000 seats and a number of smaller facilities in the area that seat less than 10,000.
Tourism promotion group Wonderful Copenhagen has long pushed for the construction of an arena of this size for Copenhagen, and its managing director, Lars Bernhard Jørgensen, has high expectations for the project.

“I am a very happy man,” Jørgensen said. “It is important to the people of Copenhagen because it will attract a range of exciting sporting events and concert names, and it is important for Copenhagen’s economy because it will create more jobs in the experience economy.”

Niels Nygaard, the chairman of the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF), is no less enthusiastic.

“It will mean that we get a much better chance of attracting certain types of sports championships to Denmark and of running them properly,” he said.

In 2007, private investors in Malmö built the 15,500-seat Malmö Arena, the largest indoor facility in the Øresund region. Its owners expressed concern that the region was not big enough for two similar-sized arenas.

Copenhagen’s deputy mayor for culture, Pia Allerslev, downplayed the concern, however, and expressed confidence that the two facilities could collaborate.