UNVEILED: New $2 Billion ‘Brisbane Live’ Entertainment Arena Precinct

6 Min Read
Artist's impression of Brisbane Live masterplan

AEG-Ogden, a subsidiary company of AEG, the world’s largest entertainment venue operator has unveiled plans for a massive $2 billion ‘Brisbane Live’ ultra-entertainment precinct to be built above the Roma Street rail lines which will be presented to the state government this week.

Similar to Madison Square Garden in New York City, or Melbourne’s Federation Square, the new precinct complex would make use of valuable air space above existing rail lines as well as the connectivity that Roma Street has to every rail line in the SEQ rail network with no land swap or sale required.

Artist’s impression of Brisbane Live Arena

The project would also benefit from two proposed mass transit projects, the Queensland Government’s Cross River Rail and the Brisbane City Council’s Brisbane Metro proposal, both with stations at Roma Street and have the ability to transport thousands of spectators in and out of the precinct within just minutes.

At the centrepiece of the Brisbane Live plan which is based on AEG’s LA Live complex is a new 17,000 seat world class arena which will showcase international superstar concerts and performances as well as world sporting events.

The masterplan put forward by AEG-Ogden features a sliding front wall that opens to reveal live acts on stage, the $450 million arena will also include a 4000-capacity rock club and be surrounded by multiplex cinemas, restaurants and bars, and a giant screen and amphitheatre catering for around 15,000 people.

Brisbane Live Masterplan
Brisbane Live highlights

The long term master plan includes:

  • Demolition of current Brisbane Transit Centre buildings to new underground facility
  • New hotels
  • Up to 4000 new apartments including a proposed signature 90 storey residential tower
  • New commercial towers
  • Creation of a future dining precinct in and around the heritage Roma Street Station building
  • Future cultural facility buildings planned for above the upper Roma Street rail lines
  • Medical facilities
  • Possibility of an educational campus
  • A new walkable precinct linking The Barracks with King George Square and onto the Queen Street Mall as well as new cycle paths
  • Provision for future connection to Victoria Park
  • Roma Street Parklands to remain unchanged however benefit from enhanced connectivity

Substantial public space is planned, about the size of New Farm Park. Jacaranda Grove, a new central water-based parkland area is also planned and will accommodate the iconic Brisbane Jacaranda tree planted throughout.

Before and after


AEG-Odgen chairman Harvey Lister told the Courier Mail,

In over 40 years in the entertainment business – the last 30 of which working on this type of project in Australia and around the world – this is as exciting a transformative opportunity as we have seen.

This is an urban renewal that removes an ugly scar and replaces it with something to be enjoyed by future generations.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said: “The Brisbane Live proposal is an exciting idea that could reshape our city.

“It is a great example of the kind of transformational infrastructure that will be possible by delivering Cross River Rail.”

Diagram of new public space above Roma Street rail yards
Conceptual diagram of new Roma Street buildings and site connectivity

OEG-Odgen has also provided a concept proposal for an arena complex at the Parmalat site in South Bank however due to the site being a much smaller area, the proposal would only include the arena facility without the public space or ancillary entertainment facilities the Roma Street plan includes (see original concept article).

Artist’s impression of Parmalat site option

The best thing about Brisbane Live is that it is a market-led proposal, which means it has been proposed by the private sector and driven by the private sector, not government.

It is a proposal that any state government around the world would be tripping over themselves to attract to their city. No matter who is in power, this proposal is highly likely to see the light of day.

With thousands of jobs that a project like this will bring to Brisbane, much like Queens Wharf, which will bring over 10,000 new jobs to Brisbane, there is also the flow on effect of Brisbane’s reputation which ultimately drives tourism to the city.

Brisbane Live, coupled with Queens Wharf are likely to set off a chain reaction for Brisbane to finally move out of the shadows and truly become what our City Council has been marketing, a New World City, and one that is taken very seriously.

Thanks to the G20 summit in 2014, Brisbane’s name has already become known to most of the international community with a successful New World City image being realized.

An interactive 360 degree view of the masterplan proposal and streetscape can be viewed at www.brisbanelive.com.au. Have your say on which site is the standout, vote in the poll below or comment on this article.


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  • Boondall is to far from the city. This position is brilliant due to the public transport options. It integrates well with the rest of the city.

  • Make the 17 000 seat stadium sui7able for rectangle sports with rectractable or no roof massive market for this to relieve pressure off suncoro

  • Is there any update on this project. Roma station is the ugliest part of Brisbane. If we want Brisbane to grow and bring tourists here, something needs to be done about this old aged, open ugliness station.

  • I would welcome the ugly buildings to go at the Roma Street Transit Centre – and be replaced by something that works and looks good — it would be a terrible shame to lose the openness of the Roma Street Railway Station with the platforms are now open, full of light and air. The way the railway station and its platforms are now .. .is uniquely Queensland.

  • I am loving the concept but I wonder if a 17,000 seat capacity is realistically large enough. We are constantly told that the population will increase in Brisbane.

  • Could you please make the floor area in the 17,000 seat stadium big enough to accommodate an Olympic size ice skating rink which is 60metres x 30metres. This would allow international figure skating competitions and championships to be hosted there, with hotels nearby for the participants and media.
    This ice rink would also be suitable for ice hockey matches.

  • Too much development proposed for this area.
    Current residents would be severely impacted for many years.
    I’m all for a slightly smaller stadium (12000), but let’s leave it at that.
    All the extra stuff and residential towers – NO WAY!! Smells like developer greed.
    Guaranteed protests will close this down if the development is “over the top” as the present proposal suggests.

  • Hurry up and build it already so we have Brisbane on the map especially for Kpop! OMG Brisbane is SO behind everyone! Kpop industry is massive worldwide and we have to travel to Melbourne and/or Sydney to watch our favourite artists such as Bigbang, Blackpink, iKON, Monsta X, Epik High, Got7 and the list goes on and on 🙁 So, I say, bring it on FAST 🙂 I want to be able to walk to the concert and not take a train to woop woop Bundall >.<

  • Brisbane Entertainment Centre seats 13,601, opened 1986 for $205m (2018 dollars) which is $15,072 per seat.

    Suncorp stadium (redevelopment) 2001 cost $280 million for ‎52,500 seats @ $3809/seat.

    “Live” will be $117,647 per seat for only 17,000 seats !!!

    For Brisbane, public transport access to a location does not get better than this, and the venue should exploit this advantage as much as possible.

    If you do not like capital cities, then don’t live there.

    Which Queenslanders own this land, and what annual $ return on investment should they expect it to earn?

  • What is the impact on Roma Street Parkland? Yes we need to add more entertainment capability and capacity, but we must not do it at the cost of one of the best tropical green spaces in the world.

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