After reaching LKL finals for the first time in club’s history, Neptunas prepares to make another bold step – to make debut in Euroleague.
Lithuanian club earned a place in next season’s Euroleague thanks to results in other leagues that pushed Klaipeda side up a few places, just high enough to be among the lucky ones who will be playing in Europe’s elite club competition.
On paper, Neptunas meets all of the Euroleague’s requirements for a B license, including a requirement to have an arena with at least 5,000 seats.
Svyturio Arena, Neptunas’s homecourt, was build in 2011 for EuroBasket. It can host up to 5,500 spectators during basketball games.
In order to be able to compete in Euroleague, Neptunas hopes to at least double its current budget which was around 1 million euros. While it would still put Klaipeda side among the bottom teams in terms of the budget size in Euroleague, the club hopes that its fighting spirit would help to make up for the lack of funds.
It shouldn’t very difficult for Neptunas to find sponsors in Klaipeda, Lithuania’s only seaport, with quite a few large companies located there. The city municipality declared full backing for the club too.
“We will do what it takes to help Neptunas participate in Euroleague”, Vytautas Grubliauskas, the mayor of Klaipeda said.
“We have to admit that participation in Euroleague is a meaningful and beneficial investment in making the city known”, he added.
The final list of teams for the next season will be approved in Euroleague Assembly on June 25.