- Brisbane looks likely to host 2032 Olympics - 32 years after Sydney hosted
- The Gabba's central location has been highlighted as an advantage
- Gabba is currently used around 40 weeks of the year
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced plans to redevelop the Gabba stadium as part of its pitch for the 2032 Olympics Games.
The Gabba, previously known as the Brisbane Cricket Ground, has been home to Queensland sport, most notably cricket and AFL, since 1895 – 126 years ago. Under the redevelopment plans, the stadium would be “essentially demolished” to make way for a new $1 stadium that would increase capacity to 50,000.
The Queensland Government has earmarked the stadium for an upgrade based on a range of factors including current use for major sporting and non-sporting events, connection to the SEQ busway and an underground railway station, Woolloongabba, is under construction.
Additionally, The Gabba is only two kilometres away from the Brisbane CBD – historically, it is rare for the main stadium of an Olympics to be so close to a CBD.
“Every games needs a home…..a home for the 2032 Olympic Paralympic Games could be its crowning glory.”
Annastacia Palaszczuk, Queensland Premier
As part of the upgrade, a new pedestrian plaza linking the Cross River Rail station and the stadium would be constructed, a feature that Ms Palaszczuk said would become a hub of its own.
“I can see the river lined with people watching big screens all taking part in the fun and excitement of the games,” the Premier said.
“There’s South Bank leading to West End which is connected to Roma Street via the Kurilpa Bridge with a new bridge under construction for the new Queen’s Wharf development.
“There are city cats offering even more options for transport.
“All of this is infrastructure we already have.”
Stirling Hinchliffe, the Sports Minister, added that the Gabba is a work-horse as opposed to a ‘white elephant’ – a term used to described abandoned or hardly used costly Olympic developments in host cities.
“It’s used on average for 40 weeks of the year with major sports played in summer and winter including international sport,” said Mr Hinchiffle.
Populous, a Brisbane-based designing firm who was responsible for designing other Queensland stadiums such as Suncorp and Metricon, has provided concept stadiums for a potential upgrade, with Director Chris Peterson stating that the Gabba meets the three rules of good development: location, location, location.
Brisbane already boasts the world’s best rectangular stadium in Suncorp Stadium.” Mr Paterson said.
“This is an opportunity to complement it with the best round field stadium right in the n the centre of the city.”
Chris Peterson, Populous Director
If selected, Brisbane would become only the fourth city in the Southern Hemisphere to host the Olympics after Melbourne, Sydney and Rio de Janeiro in 1956, 2000 and 2016 respectively.