Brisbane Olympics: Gabba’s $1billion redevelopment for the opening ceremony could be SCRAPPED

A gold medal fail: Why the $1BILLION redevelopment of the Gabba to add ONLY 8,000 more seats to host the Brisbane Olympics opening ceremony could be SCRAPPED amid cost blow-outs

  • Ambitious plans for Gabba redevelopment up in the air as costs for venue soar   
  • The $1billion cost could climb to a whopping $2.5billion just to add 8,000 seats
  • Plans to redevelop the grounds for 2032 Olympic Games could be abandoned 
  • Costly land acquisitions, encroaching on streets and iconic club – all in the mix

A plan to give a major sports venue a facelift for the Olympic Games is under a cloud amid cost blow-outs. 

The redevelopment of Brisbane‘s Gabba stadium, scheduled to host three crucial Olympic Games events in 2032, faces questions amid potential cost blow-outs.

The plan was to build 8,000 extra seats to host athletics events plus the opening and closing ceremonies – but it could be abandoned as a ‘project validation’ is undertaken.

The $1billion plan would see the Gabba's seating plan (pictured, an artist's impression of the site) going from a 42,000 seater to 50,000

The $1billion plan would see the Gabba’s seating plan (pictured, an artist’s impression of the site) going from a 42,000 seater to 50,000

There are fears Olympic Games planning will be delayed due to forecast La Nina-related weather events, combative unions and the spiralling costs of all construction (pictured, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and former prime minister Scott Morrison at an announcement last March)

There are fears Olympic Games planning will be delayed due to forecast La Nina-related weather events, combative unions and the spiralling costs of all construction (pictured, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and former prime minister Scott Morrison at an announcement last March)

The $1billion expected cost to renovate the city's iconic landmark (pictured, an artist's impression of the finished site) could reach $2.5billion, government insiders revealed

The $1billion expected cost to renovate the city’s iconic landmark (pictured, an artist’s impression of the finished site) could reach $2.5billion, government insiders revealed

The venue (pictured) may also need to be raised - making it level with the Cross River Rail station concourse

The venue (pictured) may also need to be raised – making it level with the Cross River Rail station concourse

The $1billion expected cost to renovate the city’s iconic landmark could reach $2.5billion, government insiders revealed to The Courier Mail.

‘All for an extra 8,000 seats?’ an insider said. ‘It’s nuts.’ 

The plan would see the sportsground’s seating plan going from a 42,000 seater to 50,000. 

The stadium would need to be widened by 10metres either side of the tight spot it already sits on, 4km south of Brisbane’s CBD. 

It would encroach onto Stanley and Vulture streets, major thoroughfares in the Woolloongabba area. 

The venue may also need to be raised – making it level with the Cross River Rail station concourse currently being built.

The costs would include expensive land resumptions and cause the Brisbane Lions AFL club’s headquarters to be moved to Springfield – 27km west of the prime site.

‘It was a thought bubble and now they’re trying to mop it up,’ another insider said about the plans. 

Its relocation would harm their business model, the source added. 

The costs would include expensive land resumptions and would boot out the Brisbane Lions AFL club's headquarters to Springfield - 27km west of the prime site

The costs would include expensive land resumptions and would boot out the Brisbane Lions AFL club’s headquarters to Springfield – 27km west of the prime site

The stadium (pictured) would need to be widened by 10 metres either side of the tight spot it already sits on 4km south of Brisbane’s CBD 

The Queensland government is reportedly looking into other venues to hold the events, including a 50,000-seat stadium in Albion Park racetrack or Doomben racecourse.

Another option is to use the Meriton Stadium on the Gold Coast, which hosted the Commonwealth Games athletics events and both ceremonies in 2018.

But it faces opposition from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, who want the events in the River City.

Another option under consideration is to use the Brisbane River as the location of the opening and closing ceremonies, with the athletics being held at a different place. 

Brisbane was awarded the Olympics and Paralympics in July 2021.

Plans to redevelop the Gabba for the 2032 Olympic Games could be abandoned (pictured, an artist's impression is seen at the Gabba grounds in 2021)

 Plans to redevelop the Gabba for the 2032 Olympic Games could be abandoned (pictured, an artist’s impression is seen at the Gabba grounds in 2021)

There are fears planning for the Games is behind schedule and that further delays are possible because of inevitable hold-ups.

These include forecasts of La Nina-related weather events, combative unions and the spiralling costs of all construction. 

An initial estimate said hosting the Games would cost taxpayers over $5billion but it is understood that bill will blow out when infrastructure needs to be built urgently because of delays.

Last October, the Federal Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck, admitted the Games would cost more than the initial $5billion estimate.

‘It’ll probably be a bit more than five [billion], given the infrastructure for transport and the infrastructure for the Games,’ he told 4BC.

Ms Palaszczuk was contacted for comment by the Daily Mail Australia.  

BRISBANE OLYMPICS GAMES 2032 – THE PLAN 

Cost: $5billion, estimated

Economic benefit: Queensland – about $8.1billion, plus $8.6billion in increased export opportunities and $20.2billion in international tourist expenditure. Australia – estimated $17.6billion.

Proposed dates: Jul 23 – August 8, 2032   

Venues: 32 venues for 28 sports at Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Townsville, Toowoomba, Melbourne and Sydney  

Brisbane: 22 venues. Popular Brisbane sporting and entertainment venues including Suncorp Stadium (rugby), Ballymore (hockey), the Gabba (athletics), the Chandler Sports Complex (cycling, shooting, diving, gymnastics), the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (table tennis, badminton, fencing, taekwondo), Brisbane Showgrounds (equestrian), Royal Queensland Golf Club (golf), Victoria Park (BMX, equestrian) and Queensland Tennis Centre (tennis).

New venues to be constructed will include the Moreton Indoor Sports Centre (boxing), the Redland Whitewater Centre (canoe/slalom) and the Ipswich Stadium (modern pentathlon).

Brisbane athletes’ village: 300-hectare site in the North Shore Hamilton precinct. 

Gold Coast: Six venues. Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (weightlifting, volleyball preliminaries), Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre (judo, wrestling), Broadbeach Park Stadium (beach volleyball), Broadwater Parklands (triathlon), Coomera Indoor Sports Centre (volleyball, wheelchair rugby), Robina Stadium (football, preliminaries).

Planned residential village for 2600 Gold Coast-based athletes and officials will be built at Robina.   

Sunshine Coast: Four venues. Sunshine Coast Stadium (football -preliminaries), Sunshine Coast Indoor Sports Centre (basketball – preliminaries), Alexandra Headlands (cycling – road, athletics – marathon, walks, sailing – kiteboarding); Sunshine Coast Mountain Bike Centre (mountain biking)

Sunshine Coast satellite athletes’ village in heart of Maroochydore CBD 

Toowoomba, Townsville, Cairns (football preliminaries)

Sydney and Melbourne (football preliminaries and quarter finals) 

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