AEG Favorite For Copenhagen

Previous stories that AEG will head construction of a new arena in Copenhagen have jumped the gun, but the Los Angeles-based company appears to be a strong favourite to land the contract.

Its tender won the backing of the city council’s culture and leisure committee Feb. 5, which prompted Danish and international headlines to say it had won the contract. But the matter still has to go before the finance committee and the full council.

“There are two more steps in the process,” Copenhagen council press chief Erik Bjørn Møller told Pollstar, confirming the upcoming finance meeting (Feb. 24) and the March 12 meeting of the full council have yet to consider the matter.

“If you only read headlines, then it looks as if AEG will have the arena, but the text of the stories have explained the situation accurately,” Møller pointed out.

He said the main story in Copenhagen is that the culture and leisure committee meeting showed that, after several years of talking, the people are pleased to see the project is going ahead. There were a few notable exceptions.

“Right now I’m not the happiest man in Denmark,” said FC Amager soccer club chairman Brian Møllerup, who heads the consortium that tabled the other bid for the arena.

He said his team, which includes investment partners FCA Invest and Gemelli Invest, hasn’t given up. AEG has only jumped the first of the three hurdles in the race, he said.

The reports of the culture and leisure committee meeting have at least confirmed that AEG made a bid for the project. AEG previously declined to confirm its involvement.

The arena, which should be completed in 2013, will be on a new development at Ørestad, part of a plan to make the area the “new town” within the Danish capital. It will use the city’s Metro as the primary public transport grid connecting the area with the rest of Copenhagen.