After several extensions of construction deadline the decision was made that Zalgiris Arena must be opened no later than July 6, 2011. The opening of the EuroBasket 2011 final venue was originally scheduled for October 2010 but the dealine was moved ahead several times already.
The arena is being built on an island on Lithuania’s largest river Nemunas in the city of Kaunas. Although there were some serious concerns whether Zalgiris Arena will be ready in time, the doubts were faded away at least for a while after Kaunas’ municipality and arena’s constructor mutually agreed on the final deadline of the construction.
Zalgiris Arena will have the capacity of over 15,000 but is expected to be able to host more than 17,000 during EuroBasket. The expansion of arena’s capacity will be achieved by adding more seats.
Once EuroBasket is finished the arena will become the home court of Zalgiris Kaunas. Currently the club is playing in Kaunas Sports Hall (capacity – 5,000) which was opened in 1939 and was also built for EuroBasket 1939 which was hosted in Lithuania.
The new arena will become the largest venue in Lithuania overtaking Siemens Arena in Vilnius which can fill 11,000 fans during basketball games.
Lithuanian national team will host Spain on August 18 in Zalgiris Arena for the first major event in the arena.