An aerial view of the MCH Messecenter Herning. TWITTER

Herning is a small town in the middle of the Jutland peninsula with a population of around 53,000 inhabitants, which rises to almost 90,000 when the entire municipality is taken into account. It is the eleventh largest town in Denmark in terms of population. Nothing special so far.

But dig a little deeper and you will find that Herning, a young town with only 110 years of history, is a special enclave with ambitious projects and important realities. The centrepiece is MCH Messecenter Herning, the country's largest exhibition and entertainment centre with at around 530,000 m2, ahead of the famous Bella Center in Copenhagen, which attracts more than a million people every year. "Big enough to matter - small enough to care" is the motto of Herning Municipality.

The complex covers a large area and consists of several facilities that can host all kinds of events, such as concerts, theatre performances, business exhibitions and, as one of its main 'leitmotifs', all kinds of sporting events, where the Jyske Bank Boxen, with a capacity of more than 12,000 spectators, is already an excellent reference. MCH Messecenter Herning hosted an important equestrian event, the FEI Dressage World Cup Herning, from 17-22 October, one month before the World Handball Championship.

The Jyske Bank Boxen was the venue for most of the Women's Handball World Championship 2023 with placement and the four medal matches. The MCH Messecenter Herning also includes the Hall M (the largest column-free hall in Denmark), a Congress Centre with more than 200 events a year, the MCH which has hosted badminton tournaments and major concerts such as Genesis, Bob Dylan and Beyoncé, and the MCH Arena, where FC Midtjylland plays its matches and which can accommodate 11,432 spectators (the team leads the Danish Superliga with 36 points, two more than Brondby).

MCH Messecenter Herning is the main activity centre in Herning Municipality. X
MCH Messecenter Herning is the main activity centre in Herning Municipality. X

Jørgen Krogh, Director of City, Business and Culture at Herning Municipality (Herning Kommune in Dansk), told to Insidethegames: "The municipality's main goal is to have the most attractive and functional facilities possible to host as many events as possible. We want to be an attraction for the best events because this will benefit the people and businesses in Herning." 

With this in mind, the small Danish town hosted the first stage of the 2012 Giro d'Italia, made an unsuccessful bid to host the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, which ended up in Copenhagen, and was one of the two pavilions for the 2018 World Men's Ice Hockey Championship, where Denmark came very close to qualifying for the quarter-finals. The multiarena was inaugurated on 20 October 2010 with a concert by Lady Gaga, 19 days after Jyske Bank took over the naming of the facility. 

It has also hosted the Women's Handball World Championship in 2015, the European Short Course Swimming Championships in 2013, the Men's Handball European Championship in 2014 and the Men's Handball World Championship in 2019. 

In addition, Jyske Bank Boxen will be one of the two pavilions, along with the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, that Denmark will provide for the 2025 Men's Handball World Championship, which will also be held in Croatia and Norway, with the opening game and final in Oslo's 15,000-seat Telenor Arena. And it will host the final week of the 2026 European Men's Handball Championship.

Denmark-Latvia at the IIHF World Championship in Jyske Bank Boxen. © Getty Images
Denmark-Latvia at the IIHF World Championship in Jyske Bank Boxen. © Getty Images

"All the events that have been held in Herning have been a success and we want this to be our calling card. Since 2005, we have pursued a deliberate strategy to attract international championships and sporting events to the municipality. The aim is to create a vibrant community that is attractive to residents, to create a sense of pride in our area, to draw attention to the many spectacular sights, businesses and services that our area has to offer - and to stimulate the local economy," remarked Krogh. 

A fun fact is that Herning is the Danish town with the highest percentage of hotel beds and rooms compared to the number of inhabitants in the municipality. 

Despite the hustle and bustle and the frenetic activity around the Jyske Bank Boxen these days, with more than 12,000 spectators at the semi-final between Denmark and Norway, the atmosphere is calm and very green and healthy in a country with a strong commitment to cleanliness and sustainability and with a high percentage of electric cars.

Motocross, at the Jyske Bank Boxen. MCH
Motocross, at the Jyske Bank Boxen. MCH

The activities are planned many months in advance and before next summer the Jyske Bank Boxen will host the Sports Awards, a Bryan Adams concert, a Yamaha motocross event on two consecutive days, the Santander Final Four handball tournament, an equestrian competition and a gymnastics event. At the same time, the rest of the facilities will host important congresses, competitions, shows and events of all kinds.

Dorte West, the Mayor of Herning Municipality, said: "We are proud to have hosted another international event of this calibre. Jyske Bank Boxen is a fantastic home ground for the Danish national team, and the energy and joy that the 2023 World Championships have brought will be long remembered in our area."