LN Goes For Copenhagen Arena

Live Nation is one of the companies in the running to manage the new arena planned for Copenhagen, and it will likely be up against global rival AEG.

Following a meeting at the offices of city redevelopment agency Realdania April 19, Live Nation Denmark chief Flemming Schmidt confirmed the company is interested in operating the building scheduled to open by the end of 2015.

“We’ve been helping develop venues in Denmark and Scandinavia for 40 years and I think it will benefit the city of Copenhagen if the world’s biggest entertainment company is running the arena,” he told Pollstar.

He said LN is entering into what’s essentially the second round of bidding, after an earlier arena project was aborted in 2009. This time the plans appear to have a stronger financial foundation.

In 2009 the contract to develop and run the venue went to AEG, which will likely be competing again, but the company failed to raise the $225 million development costs.

AEG European vice president of facilities Brian Kabatznick, who fronted the company’s 2009 bid, says he’s not going to comment on the tendering process but has confirmed he was at the April 19 meeting.

What appears to have changed in the last two years is that a study by London-based global construction consultants Davis Langdon apparently shows it’s financially viable for Realdania, Copenhagen City Council and the City & Port Development organisation to pay for the building and then lease it to the developer. City & Port Development owns the Ørestad site.

The meeting included a presentation on why Copenhagen is the right city to build an arena as well as a visit to the site, which is about 4 miles south of the city centre and close to its international airport.

Copenhagen Council head of culture and leisure Carsten Haurum is apparently confident the money can be found, as he opened a new two-stage tendering process to decide who will operate the venue April 5, two weeks before the world’s biggest venue operators attended the pre-selection meeting.

The City Council was also reportedly hopeful of interest from SMG, Global Spectrum Europe, and FC Amager soccer club chairman Brian Mollerup, who headed a consortium that lost out to AEG in 2009 and then offered the American company help with raising the funding.

Although one potential downside is that the arena would be only 40 minutes from the 15,500-capacity Malmö Arena (or Hyllie Arena), which is just the other side of the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, Schmidt believes many acts will be attracted by the idea of playing a slightly larger venue in a capital city.