Denmark’s Aalborg reveals sports campus ambitions



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Denmark's Aalborg planning new stadium and arena Image: Aalborg Sport and Møller Architects

Plans have been unveiled to build a new football stadium and a new arena in the Danish City of Aalborg.

Under the proposals, a new 30,000 capacity football stadium would become home to AaB football club which plays in the second tier of the Danish Football Union (DBU).

A 12,000-seat arena would also be constructed to host Aalborg Handball and as a multi-purpose venue for indoor concerts, while the Aalborg Congress & Culture Center would be upgraded.

The scheme is the brainchild of a consortium comprising chamber of commerce Erhverv Norddanmark, AaB, DBU, Aalborg Håndbold, Aalborg Pirates (ice hockey), SIFA, Spar Nord Arena – Aalborg Væddeløpsbane (racecourse) and Aalborg Kongres & Kultur Center.

Rasmus Haugaard, chairman of Erhverv Norddanmark, explained that the starting point for the vision is that Aalborg, as a regional capital, must be able to host international events for all major sports, as well as concerts and large-scale trade fairs.

He said, “It is not possible to sufficiently expand the existing facilities at Aalborg Stadium, Gigantium or Aalborg Congress & Culture Center. Therefore, the vision calls for the Spar Nord Arena – Aalborg Væddeløpsbane to be moved outside the city centre, so that the areas on and by the racetrack can be used for the establishment of a new football stadium with a capacity of up to 30,000 spectators.

“In addition to being the home ground for AaB, the new stadium will be able to attract international matches at all levels to Aalborg – and the city will be able to hold large-scale concerts.”

AaB’s current home is the 14,000-capacity Aalborg Portland Park, while the handball and ice hockey teams play in the Gigantium, which holds 5,000 spectators.

Jan Larsen, director of Aalborg Handbold, said, “In recent years, we have been among Europe’s absolute top in handball, and for us it will be a dream come true when we will be able to play our home matches in an arena with state-of-the-art facilities that at least correspond to those of our opponents.”

The board of AaB A/S has also taken a keen interest in the project. Niels David Nielsen said,
“On behalf of AaB, Aalborg and the entire sporting and cultural life in North Jutland, we believe that this is an exciting and forward-looking vision that we can only support.

“As far as AaB is concerned, we have big ambitions for the future. In that context, the plans to build a new and up-to-date stadium in a unified solution are important for our development as a club, as a city and as a region.”

The vision includes a modernization and upgrade of the Aalborg Congress & Culture Center’s existing building at Kildeparken, as well as the establishment of additional exhibition and concert facilities on either the trotting track or the stadium grounds.

Nicolaj Holm, director of Aalborg Congress & Culture Center, added, “A big city like Aalborg deserves a place to be able to host large international concert names and sporting events. Business life in North Jutland also deserves the right framework for holding large trade fairs. If it is to be possible, we need to have the right exhibition and cultural arena that is up to international standards. We don’t have that right now, but we will get that through this project, which will bring with it countless opportunities both for Aalborg and North Jutland.”

All the sites and buildings included in the scheme are owned by Aalborg Municipality. Funding for construction will come from the sale of building plots at the racetrack and at the Aalborg Congress & Culture Center as well as capital contributions from the direct stakeholders in the existing facilities.

Aalborg Mayor Lasse Frimand Jensen added, “I think it’s a really nice vision. It is very exciting both as a mayor and as a citizen who loves great sporting and cultural experiences.

“If this succeeds, it will help ensure that we are also on the map in the future as an ambitious elite sports and cultural municipality. Broad sports will also greatly benefit from the project, as it will provide new facilities and opportunities in Gigantium, for example, if Aalborg Handball moves into a new arena.”

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