DGI Byen came about in 1997 at the initiative of the sports association DGI
and the City of Copenhagen with an aim to become a home for the city’s active lifestyle/sports clubs. Today, we have evolved into a unique venue in the heart of Copenhagen, moving the city with a wide range of experiences and activities in the areas of sports, culture and business.
Read more about our history, our organisation, and how we move the city.
DGI Byen was established in 1995 as a self-governing institution through a partnership between the two associations Danske Gymnastik- og Idrætsforeninger (DGI) and De Danske Skytteforeninger (DDS) and the City of Copenhagen. The aim was to encourage more engagement between Copenhageners and the cultural and sports clubs of Copenhagen through popular activities.
DGI Byen opened its doors in 1997, and its sports facilities currently consist of four sports halls in varying sizes, including two indoor arenas with audience facilities, a shooting range, gym and swimming facility with 5 pools with varying sizes and uses. This makes DGI Byen one of Copenhagen’s biggest sports facilities.
Over 1 million people visit DGI Byen every year, of which 700,000 visit DGI Byen’s sports and recreational facilities. Half of those guests visit the Swim Centre. This makes DGI Byen one of the most visited sports facilities in Copenhagen.
In addition to visitors who visit for sports and culture, DGI Byen also receives 300,000 visitors from 1,600 private and public sector businesses and organisations for parties, conferences and industry fairs each year. An additional 50,000 guests attend open trade fairs every year. Every year, the City of Copenhagen purchases facility hours for roughly 100 local clubs, schools and childcare institutions that regularly use DGI Byen’s sports and recreational facilities. When you exclude holiday periods and after-hours, this makes the City of Copenhagen the biggest purchaser of facility hours for DGI Byen’s halls and the Swim Centre.
99 % of Copenhageners have heard of DGI Byen. More than 90% of them associate DGI Byen with its core activities in sports and swimming (figures from a familiarity analysis with 1,041 respondents conducted by the analytical bureau TNS Gallup in June 2015).
The City of Copenhagen’s Culture and Leisure Administration carried out a benchmark analysis in June 2015 between DGI Byen’s swimming facility and the corresponding facilities in the city’s Team Baths, which found that the Swim Centre has a far higher number of visitors and the most efficient operating margin in the city.
DGI Byen was awarded a leasehold on Øksnehallen and Bygning 55 until December 2024 through a cultural tender from the City of Copenhagen. DGI Byen and its stakeholder network of cultural partners organise over 20 major local and national cultural events on an annual basis during the leasehold period, and DGI Byen also organises a number of smaller cultural activities in all its venues and facilities. Bygning 55 houses DGI Byen’s cultural partner Fotografisk Center, which hosts exhibitions all year round.