Kaunas arena will allow city to host major international sporting and cultural events

A new arena will provide Lithuania’s second city and the country as a whole with a much-needed sports and entertainment venue.

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Lithuania currently has no large multifunctional arenas capable of hosting major cultural, entertainment and sports events. The existing Kaunas Sport Hall, built in 1939, can only be used for small-scale events and this restriction has effectively prevented the city from hosting top-level international sporting and cultural events.

The decision to site a 15 000 people capacity arena in Kaunas, close to the geographic centre of Lithuania, will put the venue within two hours’ journey time from anywhere in the country. The project is therefore not just targeted at Kaunas’ 350 000 inhabitants but also has the potential to benefit Lithuania’s entire population of 3 300 000 people.

Arena aims to boost sports tourism

The construction of the landmark building in the city aims to project a dynamic image of Kaunas and it is expected that the facility will increase the number of local and foreign tourists visiting the region, extend the average stay of incoming tourists, and provide a significant boost for sports tourism as well as creating new jobs. The city’s service sector is also expected to receive an economic boost from the project.

The arena will be equipped to host a wide variety of sports, including basketball, volleyball, handball, tennis, boxing and mini-football. Acoustic and lighting systems will make the venue highly adaptable to a wide variety of purposes including, for example, chamber music concerts. The venue will include an exhibition hall, suites available for long- and short-term leasing, media facilities, clubrooms, various restaurants, fast food outlets and café bars.

Other facilities include two sports training halls, conference halls, as well as dressing rooms for artists, locker rooms for sports people and cloakrooms for visitors.

Breathing new life into city centre island

The arena will be built on the island of Nemunas, close to the city centre of Kaunas, and the project is linked to a wider urban development project to develop Nemunas Island. Two bridges to the island are currently under construction and further projects for the islands are under consideration.

It is envisaged that the arena will be operated on the basis of a concession for 25 years and the main sources of income will be the lease of the arena and its various suites and facilities. It is anticipated that as many as 80 events will be organised in the arena each year and that nine permanent and 15 temporary jobs will be created in addition to 14 jobs in catering companies. A further 100 jobs will be created during the arena’s construction and in the city’s accommodation sector 160 jobs will be created.

Draft date