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2019.05.22 17:52

Europe’s first basketball venue marks 80th anniversary in Kaunas

LRT.lt2019.05.22 17:52

Kaunas Sports Hall, a legendary venue that hosted the 1939 European basketball championship, opened 80 years ago.

The modern sporting events venue was designed for the championship, hosted by Lithuania, and constructed with great urgency, within six months.

The hall was designed by a famous interwar engineer, Anatolijus Rozenbliumas, and cost about 400,000 litas.

The venue had 3,500 seats, but could accommodate up to 11,000 people for big events.

Kaunas Sports Hall was inaugurated on May 21, 1939, with the first game of the European championship. President Antanas Smetona was present.

The championship was successful for the Lithuanian team, which won their second European cup, and Kaunas was the first city in Europe to have an arena designed specifically for basketball.