After years and years of no progress, it seems the hardest part is done and public-private partnership can be sealed. Government of Lithuania and mayor of Vilnius agreed on funding for the new national sports complex. Construction may begin in late 2019 or 2020.
At the end of May the mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius met with prime minister Saulius Skvernelis. The two had previously rough relations regarding the national stadium project, including mutual public shaming. Now they finally reached an agreement about the funding for new stadium and sports precinct in the place of dilapidated and unfinished old ground.
Under these terms the city is relieved from the financial burden, while the government will not contribute any money until the new stadium is built. A win-win, one might say.
Altogether, the city of Vilnius should only cover €2.96 million of the €79.9-million project. Meanwhile, the government will add €36.53 million. Remainder, €33.56 million, is provided by EU funding, already secured.
As mentioned, the government will not put forward any money until the stadium is ready, presumably in 2022, which isn't a novelty for public-private partnership. Especially common in France in recent years, authorities will rather repay for work than fund it in the first place.
With the new public agreement in place, negotiation with the private partner can be concluded. This is expected by the end of July, while signing of the contract binding partners for a quarter of a century is planned in Autumn.
According to the time frame, documentation should be ready in a year from entering partnership, while construction would conclude in two years, around 2022. Afterwards, the consortium led by Axis Engineering would operate the stadium and surrounding leisure complex for 22 years, recouping from public authorities its initial financial interest.
The new national stadium of Lithuania so far exists only as a concept by Populous and Cloud architektai, which envisions a conventional Category 4 stadium for 15,000 people, though attractively incorporated into a major sports and leisure complex with both professional and recreational facilities, as well as commercial ones.