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Queensland Sport Minister flags need for upgrades at Brisbane’s The Gabba

Queensland Sport Minister flags need for upgrades at Brisbane’s The Gabba
February 7, 2018

Amid ongoing fears that The Gabba’s ageing infrastructure is seeing it become a less attractive option for major sporting events, Queensland Sport Minister Mick De Brenni has explained that lessons can be learned from modern stadiums to make the historic Brisbane venue deliver a better "holistic experience" for spectators.

Cricket Australia recently signalled that the 36,000 capacity Gabba has dropped to fifth in the pecking order of capital city venues, behind the recently redeveloped Adelaide Oval and the new Optus Stadium in Perth, with Brisbane overlooked for next summer's four-Test series against India.

Although Brisbane and Canberra will host Tests against Sri Lanka, many cricket authorities and commentators consider the ageing Gabba's spectator amenities, public transport access and overall stadium design to be inferior to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

Speaking to the ABC this week, Minister De Brenni advised “other stadiums across the nation are developing a holistic experience in terms of attending sport"It's not just what you see out on the pitch, it's the entire experience.

"Stadiums Queensland looks right around the globe for leading-edge improvements that we can make to the Gabba.

"We'll be working through options on that in coming months.

"Clearly the other stadiums are (also) much larger than the Gabba."

Minister De Brenni said Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project, which is to include a new Woolloongabba Station, would also see private sector investment in the surrounding area, "to improve the overall experience".

He added “getting to and from the venue is important, enjoying a meal with friends - enlivening the entire Gabba precinct will be a feature of Cross River Rail.

"We want to make sure that the Gabba continues to represent a great experience for everybody and so I'll be continuing my discussions with Cricket Australia, working through Stadiums Queensland and making sure we offer a high value experience."

Explaining that the Queensland budget will focus on jobs, health and education, he also advised that investing in the Gabba would reap returns, concluding “we want to ensure that the tourism and business benefits that come with having a popular stadium continue to deliver jobs in that local community, and continue to bring the best sporting events and the best entertainment events to the Gabba.

"Stadiums Queensland is working hard to ensure that it continues to be a great place to go."

Formally known as the Brisbane Cricket Ground, the Gabba, staged its first cricket match in 1896.

Images: The Gabba from the ainr (top) and at twilight (below).

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