$1bn stadium revamp for Qld Olympics

The project, which could take four years, would revamp a 126-year-old stadium and ensure the longevity of the grounds, the Premier said.

The Queensland government could spend $1bn on upgrading a major Brisbane stadium that would result in just 8000 additional seats should the state win the bid for the 2032 Olympic Games.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the 126-year-old Gabba Stadium would be the main stadium for the Games due to its central location and public transport linkage.

Currently the Gabba – which is used at least 40 times a year to host AFL and cricket matches and has previously been used for big-name concerts including Adele – can seat 42,000 people. As part of the upgrade, the stadium seating would be demolished, raised and rebuilt so that it could accommodate 50,000 spectators.

“There won’t be a bad seat in the house,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We have discussed this with John Coates Australian Olympic Committee president).

“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.”

The Gabba upgrade would also include a new pedestrian plaza linking the stadium to the Cross River Rail station that is under construction.

“Having a main stadium two kilometres from the CBD gives Queensland an advantage other Games hosts haven’t had,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“This will put us on the map for years to come. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

Ms Palaszczuk said thousands of spectators could potentially board public transport in Brisbane city and arrive at the stadium in three minutes.

Brisbane stadium designing firm Populous have provided concept designs for a possible Gabba upgrade.

“Brisbane already boasts the world’s best rectangular stadium in Suncorp Stadium,” director Chris Paterson said.

“This is an opportunity to complement it with the best round-field stadium right in the centre of the city.”

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

Ms Palaszczuk said she would be seeking assistance from the federal government to fund the development and to build the outstanding required venues.

She estimates the redevelopment would cost around $1bn.

The redevelopment would potentially take four years to complete, with discussions to be had at a later stage with the AFL and cricket bodies about the implications on their seasons.

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