A moment awaited for decades: the Darius and Girėnas Stadium is officially opened

Ever since the restoration of independence, Kaunas and Lithuania have not seen this yet – on October 16, a crowd of thousands of people filled the stands of the newly rebuilt Darius and Girėnas Stadium. Those gathered at the opening event and those at television screen had the chance to see a tough football match and a brightly coloured concert by famous artists.

Opening in packed stands

When the festive weekend at the Darius and Girėnas stadium started, the most curious visitors took part in the special tours and were among the first to see the preparations for the main event of the grand opening.

On October 16, the day of the football match and the festive concert, an unprecedented crowd flocked to the historic facility. Having bought all the tickets, Kaunas residents and guests filled the stadium’s tribune almost to its full capacity, which increased from approximately 9 to 15 thousand seats after the renovation.

Before the referee’s whistle, announcing the start of the Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF) final cup match, Kaunas Mayor Visvaldas Matijošaitis greeted the people gathered.

“Without infrastructure, it is naive to expect progress, so I believe that the renovated stadium will help Kaunas teams and Lithuanian national teams to achieve the highest results. We do not forget the kids of Kaunas either – in the last five years, more than three dozen sports fields have been renovated in the city, and the surfaces have been replaced. The Darius and Girėnas stadium is dedicated not only to football but also to other sports and large entertainment events. We want this space to be alive and to make the people of Kaunas happy.” – said Mayor V. Matijošaitis.

The symbolic introduction to the opening ceremony was crowned by a sacred moment – Metropolitan Kęstutis Kėvalas, the archbishop of Kaunas, consecrated the only object of this scale in Lithuania that was rebuilt from the ground up.

A dramatic football battle

In the first part of the opening, the packed Darius and Girėnas Stadium witnessed a persistent and emotional duel between the finalists of the LFF Cup Vilnius “Žalgiris” and Kaunas district “Hegelmann” clubs. The victory was celebrated only after added extra time with a score of 2:1 – the football players of the capital’s team raised the trophy.

Video of the football match

A colourful festive concert

Immediately after the final game of the LFF Cup, the final part was waiting for those gathered at the stadium – the performance of well-known artists. The duet of Saulius Prusaitis and Iglė gave the introduction to the musical performance during the break of the match, and afterwards – DJ Jovani continued the action on stage with spectacular elements of stunts, sound and light effects.

Marijonas Mikutavičius, Justinas Jarutis, Jessica Shy with Nombeko Auguste, “The Roop”, Leon Somov, a guest from Ukraine – Jamala, Vidas Bareikis and more greeted the multi-thousand audience with their hits.

The performances were accompanied by a parade of vintage cars and bikers as well as festive fireworks.

Video of the festive concert

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