Right now: Huge stadium plans revealed in Aalborg

by Nathalia Hentze Nielsen
Archive photo / Photo: AaB
Archive photo / Photo: AaB

Rumors have been circulating for a while, and now the suspense has finally been relieved.

At Aalborg Kongres & Kultur Center, a large press conference was held today at 12:30, where organizations such as AaB, Aalborg Håndbold, AKKC, and DBU unveiled a cohesive vision for the future of sports and culture in Aalborg.

This is how ambitious it gets

For almost a year, eight players have been working on an ambitious vision for Aalborg to deliver world-class sports and culture in the future. The vision includes a new football stadium, a new handball and concert arena, and a modernization of the Aalborg Kongres & Kultur Center.

The eight organizations and companies involved are Erhverv Norddanmark, AaB, DBU, Aalborg Håndbold, Aalborg Pirates, SIFA, Spar Nord Arena – Aalborg Væddeløbsbane, and Aalborg Kongres & Kultur Center, which are now ready with a cohesive vision for the future of sports and culture in Aalborg.

“The starting point for the vision is that Aalborg, as the regional capital, should be able to host international sports events in all major sports, and Aalborg should also be capable of organizing large-scale concerts and fairs,” Rasmus Haugaard, Chairman of Erhverv Norddanmark, one of the initiators of the vision says.

He elaborates:

“It is not possible to sufficiently expand the existing facilities at Aalborg Stadium, Gigantium, or Aalborg Kongres & Kultur Center. Therefore, the vision proposes that Spar Nord Arena – Aalborg Væddeløbsbane be moved outside the city center, so that the areas on and around the racetrack can be used to establish 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 national team matches at all levels to Aalborg, and the city will be able to host large-scale concerts.”

Press conference in AKKC.

New home grounds

In the vision, there is a desire for a covered arena with a capacity of at least 12,000 spectators as the future home ground for Aalborg Håndbold and as a multi-arena for indoor concerts.

Jan Larsen, CEO of Aalborg Håndbold, says:

“In recent years, we have established ourselves among the absolute top in European handball, and for us, it will be a dream come true to host our home games in an arena with state-of-the-art facilities, at a minimum matching what we encounter at our opponents.”

Also, the board of directors of AaB A/S is looking at the project with great interest.

Niels David Nielsen says:

“On behalf of AaB, Aalborg, and the entire sports and cultural life in North Jutland, we believe that this is an exciting and forward-thinking vision that we can only support. For AaB, our ambitions for the future are significant and intact.

In this context, the plans to build a new and modern stadium as part of a comprehensive solution are crucial for our development as a club, as a city, and as a region.”

Arena of international class

The vision includes the modernization and upgrading of the existing buildings at Aalborg Kongres & Kultur Center near Kildeparken, as well as the establishment of additional exhibition and concert facilities either on the racetrack or the freed-up stadium grounds.

“A city like Aalborg deserves a place to present the biggest international concert names and sports events. The business community in North Jutland also deserves the right framework to conduct large trade fairs.

For this to be possible, we need the right exhibition and cultural arena that matches international standards.

We don’t have that right now, but we will through this project, which will bring countless opportunities for both Aalborg and North Jutland,” Nicolaj Holm, Director of Aalborg Kongres & Kultur Center, says.

From vision to realization

All the affected areas and buildings in the vision are owned by Aalborg Municipality. The necessary financing for the construction in the vision is expected to come from the sale of building plots at the racetrack and Aalborg Kongres & Kultur Center, as well as capital contributions from the direct stakeholders in the respective facilities.

The vision has been presented to Mayor Lasse Frimand Jensen (S) and the councilors for the relevant departments – Jan Nymark Rose Thaysen (V) from City and Land and Jes Lunde (R) from Health and Culture – who have expressed support for the vision.

“I think it’s a really impressive vision. It’s incredibly exciting both as a mayor and as a citizen who loves major sports and cultural experiences.

If this succeeds, it will contribute to keeping us on the map as an ambitious community for elite sports and culture in the future.

Amateur sports will also benefit greatly from the project, as it will provide new facilities and opportunities, for example, in Gigantium, if Aalborg Håndbold moves into a new arena,” Lasse Frimand Jensen explains, continuing:

“Aalborg Municipality offers to take the lead in the exploratory phase because I can sense from the reactions of the Aalborg City Council that there is support for investigating what needs to be done for the project to be realized.”

Great potential

Jes Lunde is particularly positive and also wishes for Aalborg Municipality to take the next steps from vision to realization:

“I see great potential in the vision, which can create better conditions for both amateur and professional sports in Aalborg Municipality. Association life is an important part of Aalborg’s DNA, and with the vision, we can improve the framework for many athletes and at the same time create even greater experiences for the audience.

In the concert area, there is potential for fantastic concerts with major Danish and international names. The plans will bring a quantum leap in opportunities for both sports and concert experiences.

We need to be ready to implement it and address everything that needs clarification. At the same time, we must be ambitious in terms of sustainability – and in architecture – so that the buildings, which will stand for many years, contribute to making the city more beautiful.”

Jan Nymark Rose Thaysen also wants the municipality to be part of the project:

“I see a significant urban strategic perspective in the vision, and therefore the municipality should actively engage in the project, shedding light on the significant opportunities and challenges, whether it concerns infrastructure, climate, or other aspects.

There is a lot of work ahead, where we need to figure out how it can ultimately be realized, but it will be a huge gain for the city and its guests, including athletes, fans in the stands, the cultural scene, sponsors, conference guests, and the city’s residents.”

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