S. Darius and S. Girėnas Stadium – UEFA acknowledgment: the object of national significance will meet the highest standards
Paskelbta: 2022-08-25 (Thursday)
The inspector of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), who visited Kaunas in July, positively evaluated the progress of the reconstruction of S. Darius and S. Girėnas stadium in his official report. The guest from Serbia emphasized that the stadium is well thought-out and had no doubt that after the completion of all the reconstructions, the structure would meet the requirements of category 4. For now, this will be the only stadium of such standards in Lithuania, which will open its doors for football matches of top level.
On July 12, Kaunas received a second visit from UEFA inspectors this year. The progress of the stadium reconstruction was assessed, for the first time, in March. Although the opening of the facility of national importance was expected in the summer, this year, the plans were adjusted by the war started by Russia against Ukraine in February; as a result, logistics were disrupted.
“The general impression is that after the completion of all the reconstructions, the stadium will meet the standards of the fourth category. For this reason, it will be necessary to organize another inspection in the near future, assessing the entire infrastructure installed for football matches,” – said the official UEFA report.
During the second visit, the inspector highly appreciated the amenities for people with disabilities. The stadium, which can accommodate 15,000 fans, has a total of 300 seats and 20 toilets for the disabled. The inspector was also impressed with the media-ready spaces both in the stands and indoors.
At the end of last year, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who visited Kaunas, assessed the progress of the stadium reconstruction. That time, the honorable guest came to watch the finale of the FIFA Futsal World Cup at “Žalgiris” arena and decided to stop by to see the first stadium of such kind in Lithuania, which is located in Ažuolynas (Kaunas).
Making the final touches
“In July, the inspector could not fully evaluate the stadium because we had some unfinished tasks. However, now the workers are removing all the minor defects that have been noticed so that everything is done flawlessly down to the last detail. Two huge screens have already been hung above the stands for football match results and video replays.
It is expected that the building will be handed over to the State Construction Completion Commission in August. We ourselves are impatiently waiting for this moment together with the people of Kaunas and all of Lithuania,” – said Kaunas Deputy Mayor Andrius Palionis.
After the reconstruction, S. Darius and S. Girėnas arena will be one of the largest in Lithuania and one the most modern stadiums in the Baltic States. During some major concerts, this space will accommodate twice as many spectators – up to 30,000 people. During sports events, spectators will be protected from harsh weather conditions by the roof covering the grandstand. Automatically heated and watered hybrid green lawn will ensure the necessary conditions on the field for the athletes at any time of the year.
The football field is surrounded by running tracks and other athletics sectors equipped with the highest quality three-layer granule coating certified by the World Athletics Federation, which minimizes the likelihood of injuries to athletes.
Now the indoor facilities are also more comfortable – changing rooms, sanitary units and other spaces have been fundamentally renovated. The sports and leisure complex in Žaliakalnis will be improved by the completed reconstruction of the Sports Hall, the renovation of Ažuolynas and Sports Street Square. There are also new outdoor tennis courts.
As the stadium is nearing the finish line and preparations are being made for the new hosts, this month Kaunas City Municipality announced a tender for the concession of the stadium and the nearby Sports Hall. Those who wish to participate in the tender are invited to submit their applications until September 27.
After concluding a long-term 15-year contract, the historical objects of the city will be entrusted to one operator.
Detailed information: bit.ly/koncesijos-konkursas.
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