Darius and Girėnas Stadium
S. Darius and S. Girėnas stadium (Lithuanian: S. Dariaus ir S. Girėno stadionas) is a multi-use stadium in the Ąžuolynas park in Žaliakalnis district of Kaunas, Lithuania, that is now being reconstructed. The all-seater stadium will hold 15,315 people. In 1998 the stadium was renovated according to UEFA regulations, and in 2005 it was modernised with the installation of the biggest stadium television screen in the Baltic states. The latest renovation started in 2018. It will be the biggest stadium in the Baltic states. It hosts Lithuanian football matches as well as international athletics championships. During a sporting season about 50 events are held here.
Rendering of the stadium after the 2018–2020 reconstruction
|Full name||Stepono Dariaus ir Stasio Girėno stadionas|
|Former names||Valstybinis stadionas|
|Address||Perkūno al. 5|
|Owner||Kaunas City Municipality|
|Capacity||15,315 (after 2018 expansion)|
|Expanded||1935–1936, 1969–1979, 2018–2020|
|Architect||Steponas Darius, Kęstutis Bulota|
Lithuanian national football team (1936–2013)
Athletics Federation of Lithuania
The first stadium in this place was designed and established by Steponas Darius and Kęstutis Bulota in 1923, and completed in 1925. In 1935–1936, the stadium was renovated and named the State Stadium (Lithuanian: Valstybinis stadionas). Starting in 1969 the stadium underwent another reconstruction that lasted for 10 years until August 1979. Wooden tribunes were replaced with reinforced concrete structures and placed in a half circle.
After Lithuania regained independence, in 1993 the stadium was named after the Lithuanian pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas, who perished in a crash near the end of an attempted non-stop flight from New York to Lithuania. The site is currently the home ground of the football club FK Kauno Žalgiris and FC Stumbras. It is a part of the S. Darius and S. Girėnas sport center, which also includes the nearby Kaunas Sports Hall, built in 1939.
In July 2010, talks began that modernizing the stadium is the cheapest option for Lithuania to develop a football stadium that could host international matches. Two thirds of the renovation costs were proposed to be provided by Lithuanian Football Federation. Despite many initiatives to launch the renovation from various groups no actual actions were started, as an agreement for funding and project specifications could not be achieved.
Another attempt to revitalize the stadium was started in February 2016 by the newly elected Kaunas City Municipality which adopted a plan to revamp major sport infrastructure in Kaunas. Early proposals suggested that the seating capacity should be expanded to 12,500–20,000 roof-covered seats, under-soil heating installed, and stadium should reach Category 4 of UEFA stadium classification.
On 18 August 2017, the reconstruction project was officially presented to the public. After the reconstruction, the stadium will have seating capacity of 15,315 for sport events and up to 30,000 for concerts and other events. On 15 June 2018, Kayı Construction and Kaunas City Municipality signed the reconstruction contract. The stadium will be opened after 18–20 months (works will begin in July 2018). The stadium will have Desso GrassMaster surface and completely covered with a roof over the stands.
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- Stažytė, Karolina (18 August 2017). "Pristatytas S.Dariaus ir S.Girėno stadiono rekonstrukcijos projektas: kalbos baigėsi, prasideda darbai". 15min.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- Stažytė, Karolina (15 June 2018). "Kauno stadiono rekonstrukcijos įdomybės: veja prilygs „Camp Nou" ar „Old Trafford"". 15min.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 15 June 2018.