Broadcaster threatens to move Eurovision 2014
When DR, host broadcaster of Eurovision Song Contest 2014, announced Copenhagen as host city, it also came with a bold and surprising choice of venue.
The old shipbuilding halls on Refshaleøen would be converted into a venue suitable for one of the biggest TV-shows in the world and the island would become Eurovision Island.
After the host reveal earlier today, this bold choice is causing some cracks in the slick image being created for the event.
Bigger challenge than anticipated
As a part of the conversion plans for the halls, three large, load-bearing pillars would have to be cut down to join the smaller hall with the larger hall and create a single space. A visit to the island a few weeks ago showed the pillars in the process of being cut down. According to Danish newspaper MetroXpress, the hall conversion has proven to be a bigger challenge than first anticipated and will require an extra 13 million Danish kroner, roughly 1,7 million euros, to finish the solution.
The hall conversion is not DR’s responsibility. The renovations are being carried out by the project management company created for the purpose, consisting of Copenhagen Municipality, the Capital Region, and the Wonderful Copenhagen tourism agency.
They will now have to come up with the extra funds to finish the job and get the venue ready for DR to move into. The project has already been granted 4 million euros from a surplus pool, for its estimated 30 million euro budget.
Threatens with Herning
The broadcaster reportedly threatens to move the huge event to host city race runner-up Herning and the Boxen Arena, if the funds do not come through.
This method has offended several members of the Region Council, which has already approved the extra funding, and City Council, which has yet to vote. “When they threaten with moving to Herning if we don’t give them the money, we’re forced to,” said Mette Abildgaard, head of the Conservative Party in the Region Council of the Capital Region, to MetroXpress. “We would be the laughing stock of all of Europe if we had to move the Eurovision Song Contest with less than 100 days to go.”
Rasmus Jarlov, head of the Conservative Party in the City Council, is not pleased either. “Right now we are committed to completing the event in a proper way, so we don’t really have a choice. I agree that we have a gun to our heads,” he said to MetroXpress.
Will we end up on a field in the middle of nowhere after all? It is highly unlikely. With Copenhagen having already invested a lot in planning and preparing the city for the contest, and risking embarrassment in front of all of Europe, the extra funding is practically guaranteed.
The City Council will vote on the extra funding issue on February 25.