Burgemeester Next step Smart Stadium Galgenwaard

Toespraak burgemeester Jan van Zanen

Utrecht, Stadion Galgenwaard, 2 juni 2017

Dear Mr's Wang, Wissink and Ducchart, ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of vice mayor Jeroen Kreijkamp, who is also present here today, I welcome you all to the heart of the Netherlands, the very heart of the Netherlands: the city of Utrecht.

Last Sunday, we had the pleasure to experience it ourselves: FC Utrecht reached the qualifying stage of the Europa League. My 80 year old Dad accompanied me, he really enjoyed the match.

It was the outcome of an incredibly exciting and heartwarming match (as well as a great deal of hard work during a long season). A huge success for Utrecht. One of the milestone's in the club’s history.

And today at Galgenwaard stadium, ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing yet another milestone.

The preparatory work began well over two years ago, with the intention to create a smart connected stadium. The moment we signed our Memorandum of Understanding back in 2015, we got the ball rolling, even without the intervention of a single soccer player. A great deal of hard work followed in order to provide smart, healthy and sustainable applications.

The milestone that we have reached today, is called 'Healthy Phygital Experience.' 'Healthy', for the simple reason that the network is largely powered by solar panels installed on the stadium roof. ‘Phygital’, because the network comprises a subtle blend of physical and digital elements, which heighten the experience and makes it even more pleasant for both spectators in the stadium and all other users.

But what possibilities does it actually offer?

Arjen van Berkum will show you the details straight away. But I can list a few for you.

For instance, the high speed wifi connection that enables users to keep close track of rivals’ progress throughout the course of the match. This is vital to Erik ten Hag, and useful to you, me and all other supporters.

Another example. Fathers queueing for drinks for their sons (and daughters!) at half time, will now be able to announce their swift return. And Uncle "Carl" who is fetching coffee for Aunt "Ann", and has forgotten if she wanted cappuccino or espresso, no longer needs to walk all the way back, but can simply send an app and receive details of the correct order in real time.

No less important are the possibilities available in the field of security. For instance, the emergency services will be able to communicate more efficiently on the basis of a digital thermal map. They can now spot at a glance congested areas, where people are no longer completely safe, then immediately take action to disperse the blockage. This is indeed a highly effective form of crowd management, which consequently boosts the level of safety for everyone in and around the stadium.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the innovations that a smart connected stadium offers. You will shortly see and hear a lot more about the experience. And I am sure everyone is highly curious to learn exactly how it all works. Realizing ourselves that the Healthy Phygital Experience is just the beginning of the fast-moving, physical and digital future of Utrecht. And by the way. I predict that this next step as a Smart Stadium is another move towards an enduring Smart City. Thank you very much.