Vilnius will finally have new national stadium
The city council greenlighted the 156-million-euro contract with the builder and the investor
- December 23, 2019 16:00
- Plamen Petrov
The City Council of Vilnius gave the go-ahead to the signing of a 156-million-euro contract for the construction and operation of a long-awaited national stadium in the Lithuanian capital.
Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius expects the contract with the builder of the facility Axis Industries and the financial investor BaltCap (the largest private equity fund manager in the Baltic states) to be signed next February. According to Simasius the demolition of the old structural skeleton of the stadium would begin soon, with the completion of the new structure planned for 2023.
The complex will comprise an UEFA-standard football stadium with 15,000 seats. It will host football games on local and international level and will serve as a training ground of Lithuania’s national football team.
In addition to the football stadium, the complex will feature an athletics stadium, a sports facility with gymnastics, handball, volleyball, boxing and basketball courts, a community and cultural education center with a library, a kindergarten, and a sports museum.
The design of the complex is a joint project of British architect Damon Lavelle of Populous, a global firm designing UEFA stadiums, and Lithuania's Cloud Architektai studio. It will be built by the Lithuanian company Axis Industries and managed and operated by Kauno Arena for more than two decades.
Devious and costly undertaking
The construction of the stadium and the adjacent facilities is estimated to cost around 93.2 million euros. But, since Vilnius' authorities could use the option of spreading out the payments over 25 years, the cost would balloon to almost 156 million euros, provided by Vilnius Municipality (101.5 million euro) and the central government (54.5 million euro).
The planned new national stadium in Vilnius has a long and devious history. Conceived way back in 1987 as a replacement of three smaller stadiums, the project was put on hold in 2010 and resumed in early 2016 only to be dumped entirely. In September 2016 a new competition for the construction of the state-of-the-art stadium was announced.
With the Municipal Council decision to greenlight the contract this saga may have its happy ending soon.
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