One of the venues that would serve athletes during the 2032 Summer Olympics is the Brisbane Cricket Ground, also known as The Gabba. While there is still a long way to go before the event begins, there have already been perturbations regarding the stadium's refurbishment.
The Gabba will be the main arena for the 2032 Summer Olympics?
The Gabba is a 41,000-seater venue located near Brisbane city centre. This venue hosted the World Cup as one of the arenas in 1992 and 2015. The stadium is also used by the Brisbane Lions, a team that plays in the Australian Football League. This sport is a true religion in the Antipodes.
When it was announced in July 2021 that Brisbane would be the third Australian city to host the Summer Olympics after Melbourne and Sydney, it became certain that The Gabba would be one of the main venues for the event. As it turned out, this is where the athletics competitions are to be held, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies of the event. For this to be possible, however, the arena would have to undergo extensive modernisation and the number of available grandstand seats would have to be increased.
How much is the refurbishment of The Gabba expected to cost?
The Queensland state government has asked Australia's central government to help fund redevelopment of The Gabba. The project, designed by renowned architectural studio Populous, would cost nearly AUD 2.7 billion to complete. The arena would be the smallest major stadium for the Summer Olympics in years, as its capacity would be 50 000. The renderings prepared by the bureau show that the venue bears a slight resemblance to London Olympic Stadium. The main difference would be the full canopy of the stands and the facade, which would include LED screens.
Quite unexpectedly, the request for funding from the state budget was rejected. The argument behind this decision was that the redevelopment project for The Gabba included not only the refurbishment of the arena, but also the revitalisation of the area around it. This means that the Queensland Government's plan to invest in the stadium has to be revised. By cutting the project, it should allow it to be included in the funding programme for upgrading the sporting infrastructure for the 2032 Summer Olympics Framework sports competition. The Australian government has announced that it will allocate AUD 7 billion, which is expected to be half of its budget.