Denmark: Herning edges forward in 2014 race

by Richard West-Soley 315 views

In the closely contested race to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, it is Herning which is making a confident surge ahead, according to the bookmakers.

Jyske Bank Boxen is now almost on evens to win the bid for next year’s event, if bookies’ odds are anything to go by. Betsafe will be paying out just 1.25 of punters’ stakes if the venue wins, making it their ‘dead cert’ tip for the top. Betsafe representative Thomas Holm states that it is “very difficult to see an alternative to Boxen in Herning” now that Parken has pulled out of the mix, and continues that Boxen is the “safe choice” for DR now, with a good capacity of 15,000, and a pedigree of successfully hosting major events. He does, however, remind us of the question that remains over its ability to “handle overnight guests” in search of hotel rooms.

The Herning bid is gathering backing elsewhere, though, with Danish Eurovision fan club chairman, Johann Sørensen, suggesting that fans might as well book their Herning accomodation now, according to reports from DR. Sørensen also expresses incredulence at Parken’s withdrawal, stating that “I find it hard to believe that it came as a surprise to them that they needed the arena for six weeks“.

Surprise withdrawal changes everything

Before Parken’s withdrawal, bookies had the capital stadium at 1.9, slightly behind Herning at 1.8, but since the surprising announcement, it seems like they think the game is over. That it is not, though, since two venues in Wonderful Copenhagen’s capital city bid remain – the B&W Hallen by the docks, and DR Byen, the Danish broadcaster’s headquarters. Those two possibilities, as well as the prison in Horsens, still officially stand in the way of Herning’s reach for the top. Horsens is considered the dark horse amongst the outsiders, with odds of currently 5.0 from Betsafe, which Holm admits would be a risk for DR. Otherwise, DR Byen is the most likely of the Copenhagen bids to succeed according to the company, with current odds of 3.5.

As races go, it seems no longer to be a closely fought one; yet the race is not over, with a decision due in early Autumn, and much left to play for in the great Eurovision 2014 rush.