3 min read

Graham Quirk’s Sports Venue Review – No Gabba


The Queensland government has unveiled ambitious plans for the infrastructure of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, setting a new benchmark for sustainable, community-focused sports venues. Spearheaded by an independent review led by Graham Quirk, the strategy aims to meet the immediate needs of the world’s premier sporting event and ensure lasting benefits for local communities.

A Bold Vision for Brisbane

At the heart of the proposals is a groundbreaking reimagining of The Gabba as Brisbane’s premier stadium. Despite its iconic status, detailed assessments reveal that The Gabba, nearing the end of its functional life, falls short of modern expectations for accessibility, spectator experience, and operational efficiency. The panel has recommended constructing a new stadium at Victoria Park, leveraging its advantageous location and transport links, including proximity to Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro stations. This new venue promises to deliver an unmatched international standard stadium capable of hosting major sporting and entertainment events while integrating seamlessly with the Victoria Park masterplan.

Rethinking Sports Infrastructure

Beyond the headline-grabbing stadium plans, the review outlines a comprehensive approach to developing sports venues across Queensland. Key recommendations include:

  • Abandoning the proposal to upgrade the Queensland Sport and Athletic Centre (QSAC) Stadium for the Games, citing limited community legacy benefits and questionable value for money.
  • Moving forward with the construction of the Brisbane Arena at a more feasible location near Roma Street Parklands, addressing the long-standing need for a modern city-centre arena.
  • Building new indoor sports centres across South East Queensland to address a significant shortfall in community indoor court facilities, with a strategic relocation from Albion Park Raceway to ensure project viability.
  • Commitment to Legacy and Accessibility

A standout aspect of the venue strategy is its focus on community legacy and inclusivity. The proposed developments are not just about meeting the logistical demands of the Games but are designed with an eye on the future. By prioritizing venues that offer long-term benefits to local communities and ensuring facilities meet modern standards for accessibility, the strategy underscores the Games’ potential to drive social and economic growth well beyond 2032.

A Path Forward

The independent review’s recommendations set a clear direction for developing sports venues ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Games. By adopting these suggestions, Queensland can look forward to a spectacular hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and a lasting legacy of world-class sports infrastructure that will benefit communities for generations to come. As planning and development progress, the focus remains on delivering a sustainable, inclusive, and unforgettable global sporting event that showcases Queensland’s commitment to sports and community development excellence.

Full report here: https://www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0029/87581/sport-venue-review-23.pdf

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