Two Left In Arena Battle

Copenhagen councilors are planning to have at least three meetings before deciding who will build a new arena on the edge of the city at Ørestad.

The city has two tenders on the table.

Copenhagen council chief exec for culture and sport Carsten Haurum isn’t naming the bidders, but Pollstar can confirm that a consortium led by local soccer club chairman Brian Mollerup is one of them.

Major Danish papers including Berlingske Tidende have speculated that AEG may be trying to get involved, but European vice president of facilities Brian Kabatznick has declined to discuss whether his company is in talks.

Mollerup, who is head of First Division side FC Amager, said he doesn’t know the identity of the rival bidder but knows AEG has had at least one meeting with the council.

The council has already taken out a 200 million kroner ($38.3 million) loan to fund its stake in the multi-purpose arena, which it hopes to develop as a public/ private partnership. But Carsten Haurum, its chief exec for culture and sport, has said he’s worried the global credit crunch may put the kibosh on the whole project.

“We will negotiate with those that have put in tenders, but now they may find it more difficult to raise the money for the build,” he told Pollstar.

Mollerup’s financial partners in his Copenhagen Multiarena company include FCA Invest, which also puts money behind his soccer team, Gemelli Invest and two others. At least one is an international company.

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

His plans for the new venue, which can be configured to seat between 5,000 and 50,000, include entertainment and soccer. FC Amager, the club he created by merging four other teams, would play its home matches there.

The new arena will be at Ørestad, which is being developed as 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.

Copenhagen council’s culture and leisure committee will look at the rival proposals Feb. 5. The finance committee will discuss them Feb. 24 and the full council will discuss the matter March 5.

A decision is expected by the end of March.