Lithuania venue to take shape finally!

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Progress for Vilnius stadium Image: Vilnius City Municipality

The Vilnius City Council (Lithuania) has approved a revised concession agreement clearing the way for construction of a multifunctional stadium.

‘The’ stated that the saga surrounding the construction of Lithuania’s new national stadium in Vilnius (capital of Lithuania) seems to be drawing to a close, at long last. The Vilnius City Council approved on October 6th the revised agreement with the concessionaire of the multifunctional complex, greenlighting the implementation of the stalled project.

Agreement modified

‘The’ further stated that prior to submission to the Council, the agreement was slightly modified to address comments from the initiating Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. The changes, which do not alter the financial model itself, were coordinated with the Public Procurement Office which previously had hampered the project.

The revised text specifies that the Government’s share in the investment is EUR 53.4 million and that the stadium must comply with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Category IV requirement. Under the contract, the Vilnius City Municipality will provide about EUR 100 million, spreading the payment over 25 years.

Said the Mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Šimašius, “A year ago it seemed that the construction of the multifunctional complex was doomed. But now, after putting in the maximum effort, we have achieved a positive result. I hope that the contract will be signed quickly and that the long-awaited project will be implemented smoothly.”

The concession contract will be signed with the investment company BaltCap, as the tender winner Axis Industries has withdrawn from the project. Following the signing of the contract, an additional agreement with the concessionaire will nail down the obligations of both sides regarding the risks and liabilities associated with the project.

Multiuse facility

According to the concession agreement, a multifunctional sports complex will be built on Šeškinė Hill in Vilnius. In addition to the national stadium, it will consist of 15 other sports facilities: Athletics field, six basketball halls, three football training pitches, handball, gymnastics, and boxing halls. A sports museum, community center, library, and kindergarten are also planned within the complex.

Infrastructure improvement

The draft contract was approved with 32 Council votes, while 11 councilors voted against and one abstained. The Opposition contended that the contract had only been uploaded on the evening of October 4th, so not all Council members had time to read it in detail.

The Opposition also asked to wait for a definitive answer from the Public Procurement Office ensuring that the changes are not seen as altering the essential terms of the contract. Moreover, the Opposition had questions about the additional investment in the surrounding infrastructure.

The Municipal Infrastructure Department has confirmed that the municipality may need up to an extra EUR 35 million to revamp the territory around the complex. Mayor Šimašius has said that the final cost includes about EUR 3 mln in European Union (EU) funding for the improvement of Šeškinė slopes by constructing pedestrian and bicycle paths.

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