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Queensland Premier suggests new stadium and aquatic sport venue to be built if Brisbane secures 2032 Olympics

Queensland Premier suggests new stadium and aquatic sport venue to be built if Brisbane secures 2032 Olympics
February 26, 2021

With Brisbane and South East Queensland seemingly on the cusp of securing the Olympics in 2032, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has flagged new venues that might be built to host the Games and that year’s Paralympics.

Brisbane’s hosting bid was announced as the "preferred candidate city" for the 2032 Games by the International Olympic Committee overnight on Wednesday, with its bid relying heavily on using existing facilities and sporting infrastructure for the event.

Speaking after the IOC’s announcement, Premier Palaszczuk said the bid relies on the Games already having 85% of the venues needed to host the event, stating “it’s a new norm, which means it is a game changer, we don’t have to build huge stadiums that are not going to be used in the future.

“There is an option of one new big venue in terms of the opening ceremony but we may use Carrara (Stadium on the Gold Coast, also known as Metricon Stadium, ed) as well, we’ve got to go down to the fine print and make sure we’ve got all the funding lined up.”

While Premier Palaszczuk suggest that Metricon Stadium might be used for the opening and closing ceremonies, the athletics were also possibilities, IOC’s feasibility assessment referred to a proposed 50,000 seat Brisbane Olympic Stadium.

Several potential locations for the new venue have been proposed including the RNA Showgrounds, QEII Stadium at Nathan, the Mayne Rodd Rail Yards at Bowen Hills and Albion Park, while a repurposing of the Gabba has also been suggested.

In addition, a new aquatics facility with the ability to hold 15,000 spectators has also been proposed to host swimming and water polo events, otherwise these events will be held at the Sleeman Sports Complex or the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, refurbished for the 2018 Commonwealth Games

Suncorp Stadium, the Gabba, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Queensland Tennis Centre, as well as the planned Brisbane Live complex, are also likely be used for the Games.

Rather than building a network of new venues, funding for Brisbane 2032 Olympics will be focused on bringing infrastructure projects forward, with the masterplan including two athletes villages - one in Brisbane and the other on the Gold Coast - a faster rail network linking the region and a second M1 Highway between the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Premier Palaszczuk also said that she wanted to make sure the event was inclusive of the regional centres with opportunities not only for the Gold Coast but also for the Sunshine Coast, Logan, Ipswich and Redlands.

Here she noted “this is transformational infrastructure for our city and our region and it would bring huge economic benefit and jobs as part of our economic recovery as we come out of COVID."

Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates said the successful Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 helped secure Queensland's case, advising "we now have to complete the final questionnaires and legal documentation.

"If they tick the box then the IOC Executive Board will recommend to the full IOC membership - 115 members - that we go to election as the only candidate."

The bid proposes that a Brisbane Olympics would run from 23rd July to 8th August 2032. Overall, it will cost $4.45 billion to operate, which the bid says will be privately-funded.  At least US$1.8 billion of that money would be provided by the IOC to Queensland Olympic organisers from the split of international broadcast fees. The rest would be made up of ticket sales, local sponsorship and merchandise sales.

Images: Concept for a new Brisbane Olympic Stadium (top, credit: Urbis), concept for an Olympic Stadium and Games Village at Albion Park (middle, credit: Urbis) and the proposed arena in the Brisbane Live development could host the major indoor sports (below). 

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