Darius and Girėnas Stadium
|Full name||Stepono Dariaus ir Stasio Girėno stadionas|
|Former names||Valstybinis stadionas|
|Address||Perkūno al. 5|
|Owner||Kaunas city municipality|
|Renovated||1998, 2005, 2018–2019|
|Expanded||1935–1936, 1969–1979, 2018–2019|
|Architect||Steponas Darius, Kęstutis Bulota|
Lithuanian national football team (1936–2013)
Athletics Federation of Lithuania
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.
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 the stadium is the cheaper to modernize and to be used as National football stadium for another 5 years to come. 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 price and conditions couldn't be achieved.
Actions to revitalize the iconic stadium were once again started in February 2016, after newly elected Kaunas city municipality majority decided to include it into a joint plan of Kaunas city major sport infrastructure revamp. Early proposals suggested that seating capacity should be expanded to 12,500–20,000 roof-covered seats, under-soil heating installed, and stadium should reach 4th UEFA stadium category.
On 18 August 2017, stadium reconstruction project was officially presented for the public. After reconstruction the stadium should have 15,315 seating capacity for sport events and up to 30,000 for concerts and other events as well as previously declared properties.
On 15 June 2018, Kayı Construction and Kaunas city have signed a reconstruction contract. The stadium will be opened after 18–20 months (works will begin in July 2018). The stadium will have 15.315 seats, Desso GrassMaster surface and completely covered with a roof over the stands.
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- Stažytė, Karolina (15 June 2018). "Kauno stadiono rekonstrukcijos įdomybės: veja prilygs „Camp Nou" ar „Old Trafford"". 15min.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 15 June 2018.