Private Consortium Planning New $400 Million Brisbane Entertainment Arena

Artist Impression of T-Mobile Arena - Las Vegas. Image: T-Mobile

It is understood that a private consortium backed by the world’s largest entertainment venue operator AEG is planning a new $400 million entertainment venue in the heart of Brisbane.

The world class facility would have a capacity of over 15,000 and play host to major international concerts, shows and events.

The Sunday Mail reported that a location has yet to be determined however one likely site is the Riverside Parmalat dairy factory in South Brisbane, adjacent to South Bank’s existing cultural facilities QPAC, Queensland Museum and GoMA.

The Parmalat site would be walking distance from the new $3 billion Queens Wharf Integrated Resort, effectively creating a ring of state-of-the-art entertainment facilities around South Bank and the CBD.

It is understood that a possible land swap deal may be in order which would involve the relocation of the Parmalat factory to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Boondal, however this is not confirmed.

Brisbane, a city with a metropolitan population of 2.3 million and a regional population of 3.4 million has no dedicated CBD or inner city based entertainment arena and is seen as a huge potential money cow for the private sector consortium lead by AEG’s Australasian arm AEG-Ogden.

Brisbane-based chairman and chief executive of AEG-Ogden Harvey Lister said Brisbane’s recent success in attracting top events meant the new venue is needed and the worldwide trend was for inner city locations connected to public transport.

Several sites are being considered for the venue including the former GoPrint site, which would sit on top of a future Cross River Rail underground station in Woolloongabba.

The State Government is currently investigating a market-led projects scheme which is being proposed by the Brisbane based consortium and has backing by global entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group, which runs London’s ‘The O2‘, formerly the Millennium Dome, Staples Center in Los Angeles, Perth Arena as well as the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas which is scheduled to open in April this year.

AEG-Ogden boss Harvey Lister said Brisbane is a new world city and it is time for the fans of music, events and indoor sport to be provided with the next generation top level facilities.

“It would be enormously exciting for Brisbane and southeast Queensland,” he said.

It is anticipated that the new inner city Brisbane Arena would replace Brisbane’s ageing and isolated Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Boondal which would continue to operate however with a greater focus on sports and non-headline events.

As expected the privately funded entertainment arena is receiving bipartisan backing from all sides of government on all levels.

Deputy Premier and local MP Jackie Trad backed the proposal.

“Having a central entertainment venue would be of enormous benefit to Brisbane residents and for our reputation as an international city,” Ms Trad said.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said that he “welcomes investment for projects that will add to the lifestyle and leisure opportunities for Brisbane.’’

Labor candidate for Lord Mayor Rod Harding said: “Brisbane deserves a world-class entertainment venue in the CBD. I’ll make it happen.”

BrisbaneDevelopment.com has compiled a list of potential site locations and would like to know where you think a new inner city entertainment arena should go. Vote in the poll below.

1) Parmalat Factory – South Brisbane

southbrisbane
Sketch up – Google Earth concept of Parmalat site arena

Pros:

  • Would activate riverside precinct
  • Move Parmalat factory away from prime inner city location
  • Continue South Bank cultural/entertainment facilities along the riverside
  • No immediate surrounding residential apartments

Cons:

  • No existing railway station which would be needed to move large amounts of people to and from venue

2) Roma Street Station (built on top of rail) – Roma Street

Sketch up - Google Earth Concept of Roma Street Arena
Sketch up – Google Earth concept of Roma Street arena

Pros:

  • Sits above Brisbane’s largest railway interchange hub with direct access to all rail lines
  • Sits adjacent to Northern Busway and future possible metro line
  • Would gentrify some Brisbane’s most disliked and unsightly buildings
  • Has potential for redevelopment of large outdoor areas into public squares or recreation areas above rail lines
  • Complements nearby Suncorp Stadium to create a stadium precinct

Cons:

  • Existing apartment buildings sit adjacent at Roma Street Parklands. Complex would require heavy acoustic soundproofing

2) Former GoPrint Site – Woolloongabba

Sketch up - Google Earth concept of GoPrint site arena
Sketch up – Google Earth concept of GoPrint site arena

Pros:

  • Would sit above future Cross River Rail station and adjacent to Woolloongabba busway station
  • Complements The Gabba to create a stadium precinct
  • Would gentrify current site and assist surrounding Woolloongabba businesses

Cons:

  • Apartments planned in adjacent site. Complex would require heavy acoustic soundproofing

Where do you think a new Brisbane Entertainment Arena should be located?

View Results

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Sensational news! Would be great to see this happen. You can see the enormously positive effect the Perth Arena has had on WA’s ability to attract first-class performances and it would be great for Brisbane to do the same. Boondall is just a nightmare to get to and the trains finish too early to make catching PT a reasonable alternative.

    With regard to a location, no particular site is perfect, but I think on balance, the Parmalat site is best. It would add another dimension to the broader Cultural Centre and would also help to activate the riverfront north of the Victoria Bridge.

    Can’t wait to see what comes of it.

  2. I think it is a great idea and long overdue for Brisbane.
    My only concern is a venue for 15,000?
    The Gateway Motorway was also a great idea when it was built, but single lane in each direction was never going to be sufficient. I don’t think this proposal is large enough either.

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