Gabba Stadium rebuild under threat


Rebuilt of The Gabba in doubt Image: Queensland Government

All major infrastructure projects for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games are to be reviewed by the incoming Queensland Government.

ABC News said that the review could cast doubt on the future of the controversial A$2.7 billion Gabba stadium rebuild.

Incoming Premier Steven Miles announced that under the state government he leads, an independent infrastructure agency would be set up to deliver projects for the upcoming Games.

The current deputy premier confirmed it would mean major infrastructure projects for the Olympics, including the demolition of the Gabba and the A$137 million proposal for a temporary stadium at the RNA showgrounds, would be reviewed.

Miles said, “I want there to be a review of the major venues master plan. That will again look at the Gabba and those displacement issues. Every other time I’ve asked those questions, the advice has been that the Gabba redevelopment is absolutely necessary to host Brisbane 2032.

“But I think it’s reasonable for us to be absolutely assured of that before we finalise those tenders so that process will happen. I also want to make sure that we have a good displacement plan for the Brisbane Lions and our cricket teams to make sure that they have somewhere good to play in the time that needs to happen.”

The RNA Showgrounds’ Main Arena has been identified as the best possible temporary venue to host sports and events during the rebuild of The Gabba stadium in Queensland, Australia.

The outgoing Queensland Government said that following an extensive review, the RNA Showgrounds Main Arena woould be upgraded to deliver a cost-effective, 20,000-seat alternative home for the AFL’s Brisbane Lions, cricket and major events.

Work on the RNA Main Arena must begin by next year to be ready for the 2025-26 cricket season and the 2026 start of The Gabba redevelopment.

Main Arena seating will be scaled back to 12,000 seats after the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

ABC News further stated that government Treasurer Cameron Dick was also asked about the future of the Gabba rebuild at the state budget update and indicated there would be a “pause” on projects while the review was underway.

He said, “We’re going to pause on the projects, we’re just going to have a review. We’re going to take our time to consider that and we’re going to set up that independent authority. There are some moving parts there, that we’re going to reflect on as a new government.”

The Gabba Stadium revamp is part of the Woolloongabba urban renewal precinct project, which would see the area transformed into a vibrant mixed-use destination featuring retail, dining, housing and open space.
If the redevelopment of the Gabba does go ahead, the stadium will boast:

  • better viewing through an enhanced design to provide a 360-degree fan experience
  • larger entries and concourses for better admission
  • better connectivity and accessibility throughout, including lifts and escalators
  • two pedestrian bridges across Main Street to form the ‘station to stadium’ connection between the stadium and the Cross River Rail station, as well as a pedestrian bridge over Stanley Street
  • improved, appropriate and accessible athlete, team and official changerooms
  • team facilities with direct access to pitches and practice wickets
  • 50,000 seats (potential for greater than 50,000 seats in legacy mode depending on the sport and between 50,000 and more than 70,000 pax for concerts, depending on placement of stage and standing or seated, among other factors)
  • cutting edge technology and lighting
  • an internal service ring road to improve movement during events
  • improved administration, operations and event day facilities that will boost efficiency
  • a range of new premium products including dining options, members spaces, and food and beverage outlets
  • retail offerings inside including merchandise stores, and retail opportunities on the streets outside the stadium
  • international media facilities
  • sustainability aspects like targeting a 6 Star Green Star rating, sustainable energy and water consumption within the stadium
  • seamless connection to the broader precinct, currently being master planned to create a new mixed-use precinct with increased greenspace, retail and dining.

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