A $1-billion redevelopment of Brisbane’s Gabba stadium will be at the heart of the city’s bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games and Paralympics.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed the Gabba precinct would be the centrepiece for the Games. It would showcase the city and use the neighbouring Cross River Rail, she said.
“The Gabba has been home to our sport since 1895 .... a home for the 2032 Olympic Paralympic Games could be its crowning glory,” Palaszczuk said.
The proposed upgrade would increase capacity from 42,000 to 50,000, which has left some critics questioning the value of the billion-dollar price tag.
It is a substantial chunk of the $4.5bn budget initially proposed by the International Olympic Committee when Brisbane was announced as the preferred venue earlier this year.
The plans would capitalise on the connected Cross River Rail station, already under construction and due for completion in 2024, and would also include a new pedestrian plaza to link the two facilities, replacing initial suggestions of Albion as a potential stadium site.
Palaszczuk said hosting the games in the city’s centre would make the games more accessible to more people, and the pedestrianised plaza would also be part of the events focus.
The Games is predicted to create more than 100,000 new jobs and fast-track infrastructure developments across south-east Queensland.
Brisbane stadium design firm Populous provided concepts of what The Gabba would look like as an Olympic Games venue.
Palaszczuk said the plans were contingent on financial commitments from all levels of government, and that she had been in conversation with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates met the Queensland government cabinet earlier this week and said the IOC did not want countries to go out and spend big money on "white elephant" infrastructure.
“They’ve got to get in one [mindset] in terms of the funding not for the games but the funding, that this region requires to host the games…the future infrastructure, transport, in particular rail and road,” Coates said.
“The IOC is on a budget of circa $4.5 billion, the IOC puts in $2.5 billion give or take the exchange rate ... then you get $1 billion from national sponsorship and $1 billion from ticketing.”