Gabba revamp cancelled, new Victoria Park stadium rejected

Australia’s Queensland government has rejected an independent Olympic infrastructure review’s call to build a new multi-billion-dollar stadium in Brisbane’s Victoria Park, while a rebuild of the Gabba has also been dropped.

The 60-day Sport Venue Review of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games venue infrastructure was completed by an independent panel led by former Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.

The review recommended replacing the Gabba rebuild plan, which is likely to cost $3 billion, with a new stadium at Victoria Park at a “marginally” higher cost of up to $3.4 billion.

But Premier Steven Miles said the government would not be accepting the Victoria Park stadium suggestion.

The Government did, however, accept 27 of 30 recommendations from the independent Sport Venue Review for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The go-ahead was also given for the new Brisbane Arena in a different location at Roma St precinct.

Upgrades are planned for the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre (QSAC) and Suncorp Stadium.

The final report was provided to the Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Grace Grace on Friday afternoon (15 March).

More than 900 submissions were received during the Review, while the panel held 130 meetings with stakeholders, assessed numerous studies, and conducted 28 site visits.

The government said the new Brisbane Arena is a much-needed piece of community infrastructure which will have multiple legacy uses for decades to come. It will feature within a connected precinct where accessibility and walkability will be a key feature to its position among the city’s cultural and entertainment centres.

The Government will move quickly to complete due diligence on venues in the coming months, followed by construction. Around half of these venues are outside of Brisbane, providing an economic and jobs boost during construction and beyond.

The previously proposed re-build of the Gabba will not proceed, instead replaced with a more modest enhancement of the existing facility in consultation with AFL, Cricket Australia, and other stakeholders.

Those sports will no longer be displaced from the Gabba, and East Brisbane State School will not need to vacate its current site by the end of 2025. However future works to the Gabba are expected to impact the school, and the government will work closely with the school community as those plans develop.

Premier Miles said:

“This Review was one of my very first acts as Premier of Queensland and was driven by what Queenslanders told me was important to them – bang for buck and a lasting legacy.

“No one wants to see money spent on facilities that are only needed for four weeks.

“Instead, this new direction will deliver decades of benefit to local schools, community athletics programs and Olympic and Paralympic athletes in 2032 and beyond.

“2032 is one of the greatest opportunities to put Brisbane and Queensland on the map and leave a legacy for generations to come.”

Make sure to check out all the latest sports and entertainment venue development news in the newly launched, subscription-only, SVB Global Report here.

Sports Venue Business (SVB) has unveiled a raft of new offerings for 2024 under the SVB LIVE banner, including Global Networking Events and a Webinar Series, culminating in an Annual Conference & Exhibition – to be held at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland, on October 9th and 10th – with an Expert Group helping to shape the conversation. We have also launched the exclusive, subscription-only ‘SVB Global Report’, outlining New Builds, Renovations & Major Refurbishments.

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