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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Premier holds torch for Gabba Olympics glory

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has revealed the Gabba as the proposed main stadium should Queensland be named to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Premier said the Gabba has been home to Queensland sport including cricket and AFL for 126 years.

She said it was time to write a new chapter for its next century which would hopefully include the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Every games needs a home,” the Premier said. “The Gabba has been home to our sport since 1895.

“A home for the 2032 Olympic Paralympic Games could be its crowning glory.”

Formally known as the Brisbane Cricket Ground, the Gabba was been earmarked for upgrade to increase capacity to around 50,000.

The upgrade would also include a new pedestrian plaza linking the stadium to the Cross River Rail station which is currently under construction.

The Premier said having a main stadium two kilometres from the CBD gave Queensland an advantage other Games hosts haven’t had.

The entire city would become a games venue with hundreds of thousands able to share the atmosphere whether they were inside the stadium or not, the Premier said.

She said thousands would be able to board trains at a new Albert Street station in the city and arrive at the stadium in as little as three minutes, making the games more accessible to people with disabilities and the elderly.

The Premier said the pedestrian plaza could become a games hub of its own with concerts and even medal presentations.

“I can see the river lined with people watching big screens all taking part in the fun and excitement of the games,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“There’s South Bank leading to West End which is connected to Roma Street via the Kurilpa Bridge with a new bridge under construction for the new Queen’s Wharf development.

“There are city cats offering even more options for transport. All of this is infrastructure we already have.”

Minister for Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on the Olympics, Stirling Hinchliffe said the Gabba was a work-horse, not a white elephant.

“It’s used on average for 40 weeks of the year with major sports played in summer and winter including international sport,” the Minister said.

Brisbane Stadium Designing firm Populous had provided concept designs for a possible Gabba upgrade.

“Brisbane already boasts the world’s best rectangular stadium in Suncorp Stadium.” said company director, Chris Paterson.

“This is an opportunity to compliment it with the best round field stadium right in the centre of the city.”

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