EuroBasket 2011 Finals To Be Held In Kaunas


At a press conference held prior to the Bronze Medal Game of the OMNITEL U18 European Championship in Vilnius, Lithuania, representatives of FIBA Europe, the Lithuanian Government and the Lithuanian Basketball Federation invited media representatives to get an update on the preparations of EuroBasket 2011 in the six hosting cities.

For FIBA Europe, President Olafur Rafnsson and Secretary General Nar Zanolin were present to comment about the most recent visits to the different cities.

"Lithuania is the smallest country to ever host a EuroBasket but we are more than happy with the positivity and love for basketball we have experienced here so far" opened Rafnsson.

What followed was an overview on the preparations in the host cities.

All preparations concerning both game venues and hotels are according to the schedule.

"Panevezys and Siauliai, with their state of the art Arenas will have existing Hotels amplified to meet all requirements needed to accommodate the teams playing in the cities." explained Nar Zanolin.

"In Kleipeda the arena is progressing in a good way and will be ready by end of February," he added.

"As for Alytus we are experiencing minor problems with the hotels there but I am positive that these problems will be solved by our Lithuanian friends. The Arena will be ready for the Lithuanian league games at end of October.

Vilnius will play host to the Qualifying Round, the second stage of the tournament, with 12 teams.

This means that the Finals will be staged in Kaunas with its new 15,000 seat arena.

"Let me stress that this is not a decision against Vilnius" Zanolin pointed out.

"Siemens Arena is a fantastic venue, but it only has around 11,000 seats.

"We need to meet our minimum requirements of the arena for the Finals which are 15,000 seats."

The General Director of the Lithuanian Sports Department, Klemensas Rimselis added "I am sure that EuroBasket 2011 will be well-organized because until now we are on the schedule with all working processes.

"We have inspected all sites and witnessed that a big progress has been made in the last few months."


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