The Gabba (Brisbane Cricket Ground)
|Clubs||Brisbane Lions, Brisbane Heat, Queensland Bulls|
|Address||Gate 7 Vulture Street, Woolloongabba QLD 4102|
The Gabba – stadium description
How was the Gabba founded?
In 1895, the Queensland Cricket Association was granted land for a new cricket pitch at Woolloongabba. By this time the area was developing, transforming from a wetland into one of Brisbane's neighbourhoods. The new facility was ready by the end of the following year and on December 19, 1986, the first match was played on it, between teams made up of parliamentarians and journalists.
When did the Gabba get its current shape?
The stadium was equipped with an oval-shaped cricket pitch. In the early days there was a small, covered main stand. The playing field was also surrounded by low earthen embankments for spectators to sit on. Over the years, the stadium has undergone further extensions and upgrades.
In 1993, the Brisbane Bears Australian football team moved into the stadium, so the greyhound track was removed and redevelopment of the facility began, which was carried out in several phases. The final phase of upgrading took place in 2005 and involved the dismantling of the building on the south-east side of the stadium and replacing it with the stands missing from the site, thus closing the oval ring of the auditorium and giving the venue its present form.
What events take place at the Gabba?
The Gabba is best known as a cricket stadium. The venue hosts cricket matches between October and March (the 'summer' months in the southern hemisphere). The venue hosts a season-opening test match every November. The stadium has played host to high-profile matches in The Ashes series between teams from Australia and England, as well as interstate matches for the Sheffield Shield. In 1992 and 2015, the venue was one of the arenas for the Cricket World Cup.
The stadium also hosts Twenty20 cricket matches. The Brisbane Heat, a participant in the country's premier Big Bash League competition, plays its matches here. In 2022, the Gabba hosted part of the Twenty20 World Cup matches.
While cricket games dominate the stadium in summer, in winter the venue is used for matches of Australian football, which is popular here. In 1993, the Brisbane Bears, an AFL team, moved into the stadium. In 1996, a merger with the Melbourne-based Fitzroy Lions took place, resulting in the new Brisbane Lions team, which still plays at the Gabba today. The team won three consecutive championships ('premiers') between 2001 and 2003. In 2020, the AFL Grand Final was played at the stadium.
The venue has also hosted significant football matches. The Australian national team has played there in the past, and during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the stadium was one of the arenas for the olympic men's football tournament. The Gabba has also hosted international rugby union and rugby league matches.
In addition, the stadium has hosted, among others, athletics, baseball and cycling competitions, as well as horse and greyhound races. The arena also hosts concerts and other events.
What are the characteristics of the Gabba?
The stadium's oval pitch measures 166 × 148 m. A compact ring of stands surrounds the playing field on all sides. The stands are of uniform height, although internally they are divided into two or three tiers. The top tier is covered by a white membrane roof. Four floodlight masts stand outside, with additional spotlights also placed under the roof.
The arena's stands can hold 42,000 spectators. The auditorium has been fitted with folding plastic seats, forming a colourful mosaic to give the impression that the stadium is full when part of the stands remain empty. LED screens have been placed in two places. There are also boxes and food and drink outlets in the stadium.
The stadium is located near the centre of Brisbane, in the Woolloongabba district. The area is the origin of the venue's common name, the Gabba, which is used much more frequently than the Brisbane Cricket Ground.
What is the future of the Gabba?
With the 2032 Olympic Games due to be held in Brisbane, there are plans for a complete redevelopment of the Gabba, Virtually the new venue is expected to have a capacity of 50,000 spectators and will become the main arena for the Games, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics competitions. The cost of building the new Gabba is expected to be $1 billion.
Brisbane 2032: The Gabba modernisation still not certain
The Brisbane Cricket Ground, widely known as the Gabba, is to be used as a main venue for the Olympics in a 10 years' time and host athletics events as well as opening and closing ceremonies. However, a major upgrade needs to be made to meet the required standards and there is uncertainty over the stadium renovation.