AEG Quiet On Copenhagen

There’s no shortage of Danish newspaper speculation about AEG’s interest in a new multipurpose arena in Copenhagen, but the entertainment giant isn’t talking.

Any company wanting to build the venue, which will present a range of sport and entertainment for crowds between 5,000 and 50,000, needs to make its pitch to the city council by September 19.

“We’re not commenting on the process or our involvement,” said Brian Kabatznick, European vice president of AEG facilities.

Some papers suggested AEG has or will make a bid, while others including Berlingske Tidende – one of the country’s “big three” – said it will join forces with a consortium led by Brian Mollerup, chairman of the local FC Amager soccer club.

“We have allied ourselves with one of the world’s leading event promoters, which also owns the rights for many sporting and music events,” Mollerup told Copenhagen Post, not elaborating on which country is involved.

“Well, we’re the world’s leading event promoter and it’s certainly not us,” said Flemming Schmidt from Live Nation Denmark.

“I can’t say anything about the international partners as we have already put in a tender,” Mollerup explained. He did say the local investment partners behind his Copenhagen Multiarena company include FCA Invest, which also put money behind his soccer team, and Gemelli Invest. He declined to name any other investors, at least one of which is an international company.

However, Mollerup confirmed that global food retailer Spar International, where he was once a director, isn’t among them.

Plans for the new venue could include it being run by AEG the same way it manages The Globe arena for Stockholm City Council.

Plans certainly include soccer, as FC Amager, the club Mollerup created by merging four smaller ones, would play its home matches at the new arena.

Mollerup’s team is based in Amager and takes its name from the Copenhagen island where the stadium will be built, on a new development at Ørestad.

The plan is to make Ørestad a “new town” within the Danish capital, using the city’s Metro as the primary public transport grid and connecting the area with the rest of Copenhagen.

Mayor of Culture and Leisure Pia Allerslev, who has supported the idea of a new all-purpose arena throughout the 10 years it’s been under discussion, believes it will “solidify Copenhagen as a metropolis.”

“The fact is that the greater the number of cultural activities and attractions that a city has to offer, the more attractive it is to stay in, not only for tourists, but also for the residents of the city,” she told Pollstar.

“Large events have a PR value for Copenhagen – internationally, regionally and locally – and this could have a wonderful snowball effect in the long term.

“We must remember that there are other cities around the world that want to build a multi-arena – some of those cities are very close to Copenhagen. If we don’t do anything, we must also stop talking about Copenhagen as a future cultural metropolis.”

The Copenhagen Council has taken out a 200 million kroner ($38.3 million) loan to fund the multipurpose arena, which it hopes to develop as a public/private partnership, and is expected to announce who has won the contract to build it within a couple of months.