Pro League football club KRC Genk has claimed that its home ground will become the first 5G-ready stadium in Belgium after local IT services company Cegeka acquired naming rights to the Luminus Arena in a 10-year deal.

As part of the agreement, Genk’s home ground will be rebranded as the Cegeka Arena. Energy provider Luminus had held naming rights to the stadium since 2016 and will continue to sponsor Genk.

Cegeka’s technology will allow Genk to introduce real-time data tracking of players, augmented and virtual reality experiences for fans, and crowd-flow and Internet of Things services to support the club’s match-day operations.

Cegeka is an existing partner of Genk and has sponsored the club’s shorts since 2019. Cegeka is based in Hasselt, near Genk, and the company’s chief executive Stijn Bijnens said the club is a “dream partner” to support its 5G ambitions.

“The stadium gives us a great testing ground in a unique context and with a very high impact,” Bijnens added. “We can experiment to the fullest and, moreover, make the possibilities of 5G very accessible with an attractive showcase.

“It is our ambitious goal to use it nationally and internationally. We have all the assets within the Cegeka group, in part thanks to our connectivity partner Citymesh, which specialises in building (private) 4G and 5G networks for the business-to-business market, in order to make this a success.”

Davy Vanhaen, commercial director at Genk, added: “If the perfect match exists, then we come close with this collaboration. We have each made great progress, which has taken us both far beyond the borders of Limburg. After that shared history, we now connect for the future. It is an honour for us to be able to connect the flagship of the Limburg economy to this innovative technology. It will catapult us both into the future, with the Cegeka Arena as the launch pad.”

Luminus, whose investment in Genk has enabled the stadium to become more CO2-neutral, will continue to supply green energy to the club.

Genk will host Anderlecht at the rebranded Cegeka Arena on Sunday.

Image: KRC Genk