Eurovision 2014: Problems with carrying pillars known BEFORE Copenhagen was chosen

In February 2014 Host City Copenhagen asked the politicians for extra money due to unforseen expenses regarding three carrying pillars in B & W hallerne. The published documents from DR however reveal that this was not unforseen. Way before the arena was chosen the pillars were refered to as carrying.

In February 2014 Host City Copenhagen asked the politicians for extra money due to the unforseen situation that the three pillars that had to be removed in the reconstruction of B & W hallerne turned out to be carrying, thus significantly more expensive to remove.

When EuroVisionary wrote about the problem with the pillars we couldn’t get a straight answer from EBU about whether or not they had any knowledge about the pillars might be carrying. Event Supervisor Sietse Bakker answered back then: "It is at DR’s discretion to decide if and what they wish to share with the media. Every year, the EBU requires a safe and secure venue, which meets all applicable national regulations and can host three state-of-the-art live television shows. We are confident that the City of Copenhagen and DR will deliver both."

Now that DR has published most of the written documents regarding the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest we know that DR, the region of Copenhagen and most likely also EBU, were aware of the pillars being carrying. In an email correspondance between Claus Bjørn Billehøj (Region of Copenhagen) and DR from August 2013 the pillars are refered to as being carrying and DR is several times asking for documentation for the roof of B & W being strong enough after the removal of those: "Needing documentation for if the carrying capacity of the roof can live up to DR’s requirements, also after the change of the carrying construction by removing the three pillars" and it continues "There is doubt about if the documentation of the carrying capacity was made based on before or after the removal of the three carrying pillars". 

B & W hallerne was publicly presented as host on the 2nd of September 2013. As they a week before the presentation were refering to the pillars being carrying, it leaves no doubt that this was something which at least the region knew about, the same region who in February 2014 talked about it as a sudden unforseen expense which they quickly had to find the extra money for.

In February media suspected that the carrying pillars wouldn’t be the only issue with the budget HCC (HostCityCopenhagen that consist of Wonderful Copenhagen, the region of Copenhagen and the municipality) and after the contest it turned out that the cost for their part ran up in 111 million dkk with only 34,6 on the budget. The problem with the pillars costed extra 12 million so that is only a small part of the large deficit, but as it is clear from the published documents from DR, a cost that shouldn’t have been unforseen as it was known already weeks before B & W was chosen as venue. In our story from August about the massive deficit, which you find links to below, you can read more about the posts which was not on the budget, or estimated way too low.

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Source: DR, EuroVisionary
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