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Stadia Design & Technology Expo 2012 Conference speaker in focus: Marc Gallagher, Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
Marc Gallagher, senior associate and vice president of Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, explains how spectator experience can only get better
“Stadia projects are exciting, high profile and glamorous,” asserts Marc Gallagher, senior associate and vice president of Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, when asked why he loves working in this industry. Gallagher, a geotechnical engineer by training, now manages both civil and environmental engineering projects in Langan’s New York office.
“My big ‘break’,” explains Gallagher, “was managing Langan’s efforts for the New York Sports and Convention Center where the New York Jets proposed to build a stadium in Manhattan. While the project was eventually scuttled, primarily for political reasons, it was a great opportunity to get into the industry.” For Gallagher, this experience directly lead to working on the Jets’ training facility in New Jersey, as well as three stadia in Iraq and one in the UAE.
Gallagher is particularly proud of the successful design and construction efforts of the Iraqi stadia, which include the Al-Menaa Sports Complex and the Al Najaf Sports Complex. Both commissioned by the Iraqi Ministry of Youth and Sport, the the Al-Menaa Sports Complex and the Al Najaf Sports Complex will each have a capacity of 30,000 and are being constructed under a design-build contract.
The vice president of Langan, who will be one of the expert speakers taking part at the Stadia Design & Technology Expo, advocates that the fan experience begins before getting to the stadium. “Improving the traffic, arrival experience, pedestrian flow, and pedestrian safety are all critical to a great fan experience,” he says, adding, “this part of the process is almost as critical, if not more, than some of the other design elements of the stadia.
Another essential part of improving fan experience, according to Gallagher, will be a greater connection to smart phones with information available direct from the venue WiFi. “This will be a big force in creating more revenue streams and making the fan experience even more interactive,” he says.
Looking forward, Gallagher expects the trend towards greater connectivity to continue, with information such as game stats, replays and concession orders sent via smart phones to fans in their seats. He also expects to see operators trying to maximise usage of their venues by catering for non-sporting events such as retail or entertainment. “This will keep retractable roofs as a desirable feature,” he concludes.
Marc Gallagher will be one of the experts involved in Session 6: Going Global! Lessons learned when pursuing international work, and Session 8: Panel discussion – smart sustainability approaches roundtable at Stadia Design & Technology Expo 2012 (11:00-12:30 and 15:45-17:00, Wednesday 9 May 2012)