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Gabba to be redeveloped for 2032 Olympics

The Gabba stadium has been chosen as the proposed main stadium should Queensland in Australia host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The International Olympic Committee announced in February that Brisbane was the preferred bidder for the 2032 Games.

Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk has revealed that the iconic venue would undergo an A$1 billion makeover ahead of the games.

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

Every Games needs a home. The Gabba has been home to our sport since 1895. A home for the 2032 Olympic Paralympic Games could be its crowning glory.

Formally known as the Brisbane Cricket Ground, the Gabba has 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. She added:

I can see the river lined with people watching big screens all taking part in the fun and excitement of the games. 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.

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. He added:

Brisbane already boasts the world’s best rectangular stadium in Suncorp Stadium. 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% already built.

@PanStadiaArena