Gabba to be centre of Brisbane Olympics

·2-min read

The Queensland government will spend more than $1 billion redeveloping the Gabba into the centrepiece of the 2032 Olympics if Brisbane wins the hosting rights.

One day after receiving state cabinet approval for the bid, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the Gabba will be the main stadium for the Games.

Capacity will be expanded by 8000 seats to 50,000 seats and a new pedestrian plaza will link the stadium to the Cross River Rail station, which is under construction.

"We've hosted the AFL here, we've hosted cricket here, but for the Olympics, this is front and centre - opening and closing ceremonies, athletics, you name it, it's going to be the best," she told Nine's Today program on Tuesday.

The Gabba was built in 1895 and has undergone two substantial renovations and refurbishments since 1993.

The last major redevelopment was completed in 2005 when a 24-bay grandstand was built for $128 million.

The Gabba's public, corporate and media facilities also received a $35 million upgrade in 2020.

The Labor government will seek financial support from Brisbane City Council and the federal government for the project.

"We do need this, and it's going to be utilised for the future, so they don't want white elephants they want workhorses, and the Gabba is definitely a workhorse," Ms Palaszczuk said.

The International Olympic Committee named Brisbane as its preferred host city in February.

But a final decision rests on detailed discussions with Games chiefs and key commitments from the federal government.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates addressed cabinet on Monday, where MPs formally endorsed Brisbane's candidacy.

"This is still contingent on guarantees that need to be received from the federal government," Ms Palaszczuk stressed on Monday.

She has had a discussion with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and more talks will occur in the coming weeks.

"We are basically doing years and months of work in a very short time frame to meet the deadlines the IOC has set us," she said.

The state needed the boost the Games would bring, including 130,000 jobs.

"It gives us hope, after going through the pandemic. It gives us hope for the future," the premier said.

Last month, Mr Morrison told the IOC the Australian government was firmly behind Brisbane to host the Games.

But Brisbane is not without rivals.

Earlier this month, South Korea said Seoul submitted a proposal to host the 2032 Olympics, despite Brisbane's frontrunner status.