Lithuanians themselves called the abandoned construction site of the national stadium a national disgrace. The past tense is absolutely right, because this week preparatory works for the creation of a representative facility have started on the same plot of land.
Construction of the Lithuanian National Stadium began in 1987 and was never completed. By 1993, the foundations were laid and part of the frame structure of the stands was erected, and that's it. Over the next few years, attempts were made to finish the venue, but all of them ended in failure.
What was built years ago has degraded. Therefore, the demolition became necessary. The skeleton of the stadium scared passersby until January 4. Fortunately, this does not happen anymore, because the long-awaited pulling down started that day. This decision came a bit too late, as an additional € 33 million was unnecessarily pumped into the project around 2008.
The real breakthrough for the national stadium came last year, when all interested parties managed to define its financing. The arena is to be part of a sizable sports complex and the investment will be carried out in a public-private partnership. The Lithuanian government, the capital city and the investment company BaltCap contribute to the project. The latter entity will become the facility's concessionaire.
€ 40 million has been allocated to the construction of the venue alone, but before that happens, the above-mentioned demolition works must be carried out, which are to take a maximum of 4 months.
Their cost will be € 300,000. Theoretically, it will be possible to begin the actual construction works immediately afterwards, but it will not happen, as all the details of the design have not been finalized yet.
That's why the works are to start before the end of the year and will last until the end of 2024. The stadium should be commissioned in April or May 2025 at the latest. In addition to the football ground, a sports museum, culture and education centre, library and other smaller sports facilities are planned.
Author: Tomasz Sobura