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Brisbane venues thrive as Stadiums Queensland operations deliver more than $300 million in economic benefit
Venues in Brisbane - and the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in particular - were Stadiums Queensland’s star performers during 2018/19, while stadia outside of the Queensland capital saw significant falls in attendance in the last financial year.
Stadiums Queensland’s latest annual report shows that the state’s venues opened their gates to 128,854 fewer patrons in 2018/19 than the year before, hosting 4.2 million patrons across its nine venues, down from 4.3 million in 2017/18, but above the 3.9 million in 2016/17.
The annual report also showed that the venues contributed more than $300 million in economic benefit to the state.
The Brisbane Entertainment Centre hosted 37 concerts, including seven shows for P!nk, along with Sam Smith, Katy Perry, Shania Twain and Nickelback, boosting visitors from 666,971 last year to 815,866 this year.
The annual report noted “patronage at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre is up significantly this year, thanks to a blockbuster number of high-profile concerts.”
Suncorp Stadium hosted 1,064,601 fans, down 54,336 on the year before, blamed partly on poor performances from Queensland rugby league and union teams.
Writing in the report, Stadiums Queensland Chief Executive, Todd Harris noted “the start of the 2019 National Rugby League season saw some of our powerhouse clubs struggle early in the season, which impacted traditionally strong crowd numbers.
"However, fans returned in droves for the inaugural Magic Round, which was a huge success, with 134,677 turning out at Suncorp Stadium for four days of entertaining rugby league matches."
Likewise, The Gabba saw 59,965 fewer fans through its turnstiles - down from 566,896 last year -despite Taylor Swift's sold-out Reputation tour.
However, with the first Test of the 2019/20 season returning to The Gabba, Harris wrote "the recent $35 million investment in fan-focussed upgrades at The Gabba is the sort of investment that ensures we not only retain but attract content that delivers amazing experiences for fans.”
It was the three Stadiums Queensland venues outside of Brisbane where the attendance falls were most marked.
In what will be a concern for the proponents of the North Queensland Stadium, attendance at Townsville’s 1300SMILES Stadium dipped to 184,262 compared to 206,675 in the previous year, while Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast fell to 197,956 in 2018/19 compared to 213,753 in 2017/18.
However, the Gold Coast’s Metricon Stadium fell most dramatically, dipping by more than half to 212,617 in 2018/19 from 438,199 the previous year. While the Commonwealth Games had boosted attendance in 2017/18, the Gold Coast SUNS’ ongoing poor on-field performances and apparent fan apathy on the Gold Coast appear to have also contributed to the fall.
Financially, Stadiums Queensland returned an operating profit of $5 million, attributed to the high number of concerts at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, The Gabba, Suncorp Stadium, and the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre in Nathan.
Click here to view the Stadiums Queensland 2018/19 Annual Report.
Images: Concert at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre (top) and patronage levels at Stadiums Queensland venues (below).
9th October 2019 - Queensland Academy of Sport gets $10 million investment boost
4th October 2019 - Australasian venues rate highly on Billboard’s ‘2019 Arena Power List’
30th August 2019 - Indigenous NRL All Stars match secured for Cbus Super Stadium
23rd September 2019 - AEG Ogden’s Harvey Lister expresses frustrations at delays with Brisbane Live precinct
11th September 2019 - New 80,000-seat Brisbane stadium to be centrepiece of 2032 Olympics bid
5th September 2019 - Cowboys play final game at 1300SMILES Stadium
2nd September 2019 - First seat installed at new North Queensland Stadium
21st August 2019 - Queensland Government claims $20 million economic boost from NRL Magic Round
28th March 2019 - Metricon extends venue naming rights partnership with Gold Coast SUNS
19th December 2018 - Taskforce sets out future for Stadiums Queensland venues
17th December 2018 - Crowds - and losses - rise at Stadiums Queensland venues in 2017/18
13th September 2017 - Brisbane Entertainment Centre welcomes successful Ariana Grande concert
21st May 2016 - Planned new Townsville Stadium not financially viable
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