Lithuania will host its second Eurobasket in 72 years next year but Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) is seriously interested in hosting another major event in a basketball-crazy country. LKF want to organize the World Championship in either 2018 or 2022 which would be the first time that such a major event will be hosted by the Baltic nation.
One of the main reasons why Lithuania would like to host the World Championship is the opening of several new arenas around the country that were built for Eurobasket 2011. LKF wants to keep the arenas busy in the coming years after Eurobasket is over. Hosting a major event such as the World Championship would definitely help in this regard.
However, the financial task that the host of World Championship has to meet might be too large for such a small country as Lithuania. Though the potential solution has already been found. The other two Baltic countries (Latvia and Estonia) are already showing interest in becoming the co-hosts. The group stage would likely to be hosted in four Lithuanian cities plus the capitals of Latvia and Estonia.
While sharing the cost of hosting the World Championship among three countries could help to solve one problem it might also give rise to another serious issue. It would be the first time for such tournament to be hosted by three countries. The hosts always receive direct qualification to the tournament though giving direct entrances to Latvia and Estonia, especially the latter, could be a serious obstacle not only three hosts would take three places in the tournament but also the level of the two national teams is questionable.
LKF hopes to make a bid to host World Championship in 2018 but there’s little hope that the tournament will be staged in Europe that year since the old continent had the right to host it in 2010 and Spain will host it in 2014. So it’s most likely that the bid would have more success in 2022.