New $1b Stadium: Gabba to be rebuilt as main Olympic stadium

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Architectural rendering of proposed new Gabba Stadium
Architectural rendering of proposed new Gabba Stadium

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has today revealed the Gabba as the proposed main stadium should Queensland host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Under initial plans unveiled by the Government, the Gabba would essentially be demolished and a $1 billion main Olympic oval stadium rebuilt in its place.

The Premier said the Gabba has been home to Queensland sport including cricket and AFL for 126 years.

She said it was time to write a new chapter for its next century which hopefully includes the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Architectural rendering of proposed new Gabba Stadium
Architectural rendering of proposed new Gabba Stadium. Concept image by Populous.
Architectural rendering of proposed new Gabba Stadium
Architectural rendering of proposed new Gabba Stadium. Concept image by Populous.

But to take it to that level will need the continued support of all levels of government including the Commonwealth.

“Every games needs a home,” the Premier said.

“A home for the 2032 Olympic Paralympic Games could be its crowning glory.

Formally known as the Brisbane Cricket Ground, the Gabba was been earmarked for upgrade because:

  • It is already well-used for AFL, cricket and other events
  • Is existing infrastructure already connected to the SEQ busway network
  • Is centrally located and
  • Will have its own Cross River Rail station already under construction connected to the stadium.

A potential upgrade would increase capacity to around 50,000.

It would also include a new pedestrian plaza linking the stadium to the Cross River Rail station which is currently under construction.

The Premier said having a main stadium two kilometres from the CBD gave Queensland an advantage other Games hosts haven’t had.

As a result, the Premier said, the entire city would become a games venue with hundreds of thousands able to share the atmosphere whether they were inside the stadium or not.

Thousands will be able to board trains at a new Albert Street station in the city and arrive at the stadium in as little as three minutes.

This made the games more accessible to people with disabilities and the elderly.

The Premier said the pedestrian plaza could become a games hub of its own with concerts and even medal presentations.

“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.”

Minister for Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on the Olympics Stirling Hinchliffe said the Gabba is a work-horse, not a white elephant.

“It’s used on average for 40 weeks of the year with major sports played in summer and winter including international sport,” the Minister said.

Brisbane Stadium Designing firm Populous had provided concept designs for a possible Gabba upgrade.

Director Chris Paterson said the Gabba satisfied 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 compliment it with the best round field stadium right in the centre of the city.”

The Gabba would join Cairns, Townsville, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast as games venues with 85% of already built.

Architectural design

54 %

Building amenities

63 %

Building greenery (Buildings that breathe)

71 %

Public realm / Street activation

74 %

Sustainability

73 %

By 15 reviewer(s)

  • Avatar

    Jen Coledge

    Waste of money. No additional utility.

    May 30, 2021

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  • Avatar

    Gabrielle Cooney

    Qld Government cut funding to our Ruths Women’s Shelter here in Cairns who are turning women away they are so full. This announcement that they are spending $1 BILLION on renovations to the Gabba football oval makes me furious. WTF people should come first.

    May 1, 2021

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  • Avatar

    Ryan C

    Quite a few whiners here. Concept looks great, perfect location, stadium capacity is spot on, what are people really complaining about?

    It’s time for the federal government to step up. Are you listening Scomo? Queensland needs a partner and we’re all watching you..

    April 24, 2021

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  • Avatar

    Greg

    A much better concept would be to stop wasting money on a demolish-reconstruct refurbishment and just build an entirely new stadium directly over the cross-river rail construction site.

    The construction site is similar in size and positioning the stadium here would allow for even better public transport access (e.g. the elevated pedestrian bridge over Main St would no longer be required.)

    This would also allow for a more olympic-sized stadium (65 to 80,000 capacity.) Plus, the old Gabba could still be used during the lengthy construction phase.

    Other benefits include allowing the Brisbane Primary School space to expand: Demolish the old Gabba stadium and there’s room for a public park or school oval. Or at the very least developer friendly high-rise space, since there’s no tunnels obstructing their basement requirements.

    April 22, 2021

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  • Avatar

    Rob

    Lame, lame, lame! It will be an international embarrassment if this is the best we can do for an Olympic stadium

    April 21, 2021

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  • Avatar

    Tony Diaczok

    Hardly any bang for buck! Who needs a roof in Quennsland?

    April 21, 2021

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  • Avatar

    N

    I appreciate this is only a concept proposal / announcement. Details around environmental performance and architectural design will be published later hopefully.

    In response to this, the location seems logical. The proposed cost is a major concern – state government needs to be careful with infrastructure spending over the coming 10 years. Without a strong business case study, stadium infrastructure projects should not be supported by the taxpayer at this time. This is one of the reasons why the federal labor government introduced Infrastructure Australia – a statutory authority to overhaul reform, planning, development and investment in the nation’s future.

    In addition, my understanding is that the IOC criteria has evolved for a number of reasons, and while the Brisbane/SE QLD application is fulfilling that criteria successfully, this particular proposal is taking two backward steps.

    Does the Gabba need to be redeveloped for $1b of tax payer’s money? Or do we need to further invest $1b into Brisbane’s public transport infrastructure for the Games? In terms of legacy creation and environmental sustainability, pretty sure public transport is the way to go!

    April 21, 2021

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  • Avatar

    Christopher Stewart

    State of the art stadiums being built these days have a roof or 100% of their seating under cover. This will not be taken seriously in a supposedly “new world city”. And it seems we still haven’t learnt the lesson from the epic fail with the location of Suncorp – trying to squeeze a big stadium on a small site or residential area where it will look out of place and generate regular complaints from local residents. If you want an appropriate inner-city site it would have been in the Exhibition grounds where there’s a train and busway station on site or right next door.

    April 21, 2021

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  • Avatar

    Greg

    Not much bang for your buck if it’s going from 42,000 to only 50,000. That may be enough to satisfy Cricket Australia but it’ll be the smallest Olympics venues in recent history if there isn’t an option for additional seating.
    Something like Sydney’s olympic stadium (110,000 capacity!) where the wings were demolished after the games were over.

    April 21, 2021

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    Cheryl Vize

    A Stadium to take us in to 2032 and beyond without a roof? You have to be kidding!!

    April 21, 2021

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Architectural design
Building amenities
Building greenery (Buildings that breathe)
Public realm / Street activation
Sustainability