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THE VENUE

Klaipėda, is a city in Lithuania on the Baltic Sea coast. It is the third largest city in Lithuania and the capital of Klaipėda County.

The city has a complex recorded history, partially due to the combined regional importance of the usually ice-free Port of Klaipėda at the mouth of the Akmena-Danė River. It was controlled by successive German states until the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. As a result of the 1923 Klaipėda Revolt it was added to Lithuania and has remained with Lithuania to this day, except for the period between 1939 and 1945 when it returned to Germany following the 1939 German ultimatum to Lithuania.

The population has shrunk from 207,100 in 1992 to 157,350 in 2014. Popular seaside resorts found close to Klaipėda are Nida to the south on the Curonian Spit, and Palanga to the north.

The Teutonic Knights built a castle in the *Pilsāts Land of the Curonians and named it Memelburg; later the name was shortened to Memel. From 1252–1923 and from 1939–1945, the town and city was officially named Memel. Due to political changes between 1923 and 1939, both names were in official use; since 1945 the Lithuanian name of Klaipėda is used.

Klaipėda is also a very sporty city. It has strong handball, basketball and football teams who are playing in top leagues. HC Klaipėdos „Dragunas“ last year won Lithuanian men handball league and Klaipėdos „Dragunas – Viesulas“ took third place in women handball league.

All matches of championship will be played in a new and modern Klaipėdos „Svyturys“ arena which was opened in 2011. European men basketball championship of 2011 was held in this arena. Lithuania men handball national team also has played here. This year match between Lithuania and France was played in „Svyturys“ arena and this event atracked many handball fans from all over the country.

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