Sport Round-Up: Architect’s solution could revolutionise Copenhagen’s football pitch problem

Elsewhere, the Tour de France start time in Copenhagen has been finalised and five Danish football teams gear up for a European campaign

For all its many delights, Copenhagen has an issue that residents who play football, or have children who do, can relate to: a comprehensive dearth of football pitches. 

The demand for pitches is immense and according to the national football association DBU, almost 2,500 kids were on a waiting list at the 13 biggest clubs in the city last year.

The capital has fewer sports facilities per resident than anywhere else in the country.

But football pitches require space, and that’s the issue urban areas across the world struggle with. As more and more people gravitate towards cities, space is a luxury not easily accessible.

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Stack ’em high!
However, architecture firm Werk Arkitekter has come up with a cunning plan. 

The firm has proposed to make Copenhagen a trailblazer for a solution involving ‘stacking’ five or more pitches on top of one another to form a kind of wood-based sports tower. 

“The huge space-demanding sports are a challenge in relation to the densification of cities. The idea is that we can stack our way out of it. This could be a solution and we think it would be an interesting way to utilise the city’s square metres as efficiently as possible,” Werk Arkitekter’s creative head, Thomas Kock, told Politiken newspaper.

“Aside from being socially responsible, it will also be environmentally sustainable. So it can reflect positively on all parameters.”

(photo: Werks)

The firm has proposed several suitable locations for its plan, including the Meatpacking District in Vesterbro, Nørrebroparken, Kalvebod Brygge and the parking area at Ørestaden. 

The architects didn’t explain how long balls would work on the stacked pitches – presumably there would be some height between each level. 

Ah well, the Danes prefer to keep the ball on the ground anyway.

(photo: Werks)

Tour de France start time finalised
The Tour de France organisers have revealed the start time of the historic first stage of the race this year, which will be held in Copenhagen on July 1. The first stage, a time trial in the Danish capital, will start when the first rider is sent on his way from the starting block on Nørre Farimagsgade at 16:00. Along the route, the riders will pedal along the likes of Nørrebrogade, Øserbrogade and Kongens Nytorv before reaching the finish line at HC Andersens Boulevard near the starting point. Check out the entire route and times here.

Five teams ready for Europe
Following the completion of the Danish Superliga season, a total of five teams will participate in European football next season. As champions, FC Copenhagen will participate in the Champions league playoff round where defeat will see them handed a spot in the Europa League group stage. The same will be true for runners-up FC Midtjylland, who start their campaign in the second Champions League qualification round where defeat will extinguish their European dreams and defeat in the next round a place in the Conference League. The big surprise last season, third-place finishers Silkeborg, will start in the Europa League playoff round where defeat will see them guaranteed a spot in the Conference League group stage. Brøndby and Viborg will commence their campaigns in the second Conference League qualification round. 

FC Midtjylland are 2022 Danish Cup winners
FC Midtjylland washed away the disappointment of missing out on the Superliga title this year by beating OB Odense to win the Danish Cup. The match ended up going the distance scoreless and had to be settled via a penalty shootout, which the Wolves won 4-3. It was their second cup title following victory in 2019. OB, meanwhile, haven’t lifted the cup since 2006. 

Sour finish in Helsinki
The Danish ice hockey men turned heads with their historic defeat of Canada at the IIHF World Championships, but ended up missing out on the quarter-finals. Needing only a draw against Slovakia, Denmark slumped to a 1-7 defeat that guaranteed their opponents to progressed to the knockout stage instead. The match signalled the end of Frans Nielsen’s career – the first Dane to play in the NHL. Finland won the title by beating Canada in the final.

Young guns impress in Israel
Denmark’s under-17 national football team had a decent run at the 2022 Euros in Israel where they reached the quarter-finals. The Danes lost their opening game to Sweden but beat Scotland and Portugal to win their group. However, Danish dreams were put to the sword by Serbia in a 2-1 loss. France ended up beating the Netherlands in the final. 

Dane helps Monza make history
Denmark forward Christian Gytkjær was instrumental in helping his club Monza win promotion to Serie A for the first time in its history. The club, owned by Silvio Berlusconi, won its playoff against Pisa in extra time with a 6-4 aggregate victory. Gytkjær did his part, scoring three goals across the two legs, including one in extra time. In other promotion news, Philip Zinckernagel helped Nottingham Forest beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 in the Championship playoff final to seal promotion to the Premier League. The Reds haven’t played in the top flight since 1999.

Bears win basketball title again
The Bakken Bears have continued their Danish league title streak by beating the Svendborg Rabbits in a best-of-seven finals series. The Bears swept the Funen team 4 games to 0 thanks to a 81-77 win in game 4 in Svendborg. The Danish title is the sixth in a row for the Bears, who have established themselves as a powerhouse in Denmark and even been getting solid results in Europe in recent years.

Fulgsang finally wins one
Danish cyclist Jakob Fuglsang finally ended his drought at the top of the podium by winning the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes in France. The 37-year-old is looking sharp ahead of the Tour de France and edged the likes of David Gaudu, Michael Woods and Jesus Herrada for the win. The title is the first for the Israel – Premier Tech rider in almost two years. He hadn’t won a race since claiming the Tour of Lombardy title in 2020 – some 649 days ago.