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Secret Gabba renovation plans leaked to media

Secret Gabba renovation plans leaked to media
May 25, 2018

A confidential report from architects Populous outlining a major revamp for Brisbane’s The Gabba, has been inadvertently released to the ABC prior to being considered by the Queensland Government.

The ABC obtained the long-anticipated renovation plans for the historic sports stadium, which were drawn up in 2017, with the Queensland Government only realising the error when they were contacted for comment.

The plans for the 42,000-capacity venue, which was built in 1895, had not been released previously.

The existence of the report, which is not costed, has particular relevance for the future of The Gabba given it has recently lost rights to host the first Test match of the 2018/19 summer to Perth’s new Optus Stadium.

Compared to new venues in Adelaide and Perth, the fan experience at The Gabba is seen as being outdated. However, already committed to building the new North Queensland Stadium in Townsville and mindful of political sensitivity surrounding venue redevelopments in Sydney and Melbourne, the Queensland Government has not released The Gabba plan prior to is leak.

The Populous plan for the venue includes an enlarged and elevated plaza entry, huge new scoreboards, six new gates, parkland that flows to a new train station and a state-of-the-art ‘media halo’ projecting above spectators heads.

Populous state that one of the key problems with the Gabba is there is "no sense of arrival - no defined front door".

To address that, the western end of the ground would be revamped as the major entry point, with an elevated podium hugging the entire western side of the stadium at level three.

In addition new pedestrian bridges would funnel spectators to six new gates with big screens positioned at key points while a huge lighting display would cover the wall of the stadium and could be changed depending on the game, ceremony or event that was happening.

The Master Plan also noted there were few places outside the stadium for people to meet up before the game and getting in to the Gabba could "be a stressful time", advising “the south western grassed park area is the only significant gathering point outside the stadium.

"The other three main entrances are essentially on the street."

Populous’ solution is a new park linking the venue with the Cross River Rail station.

Inside the Gabba, some of the key ideas include new 16-metre-by-9-metre videoboards at each end suspended above a premium standing area, a major upgrade to corporate boxes and function rooms to increase revenue both during games and outside game days, and ‘the media halo’ – a combination of digital projection and lighting that transforms the underside of the roof into one 360-degree screen.

The report put to Stadiums Queensland, the custodian of the Gabba, noted the pressure Queensland Government was under to upgrade its facilities.

It stated "in the last five to seven years every major oval stadium across Australia has undergone significant upgrade, redevelopment or replacement”, adding “this will maintain and elevate the Gabba's status as one of the best sports venues in Australia and a local community asset.

The plan suggests the development would happen over next 15 to 20 years, although Queensland Sports Minister Mick de Brenni said it should not take that long.

Minister de Brenni told the ABC "I think the redevelopment of the Gabba based on this master plan is far more achievable in a shorter time frame than that.

"We are consulting with cricket, with AFL, and of course our development partners on the Gabba precinct so we can deliver it as soon as possible."

ABC reports that a massive park between the stadium and rail station would help build a sense of anticipation as fans arrived. It would also offer a place to meet prior to events.

Images: Populous' plans for the exterior of the renovated Gabba (top and middle) and the precinct master plan (below).

24th May 2018 - JOHN LEE TO HEAD GROUP EVALUATING THE MANAGEMENT OF QUEENSLAND STADIUMS

11th May 2018 - METRICON STADIUM TO HOST INTERNATIONAL CRICKET AS THE GABBA’S FIRST TEST TRADITION COMES TO END

16th April 2018 - BRISBANE NEWSPAPER SLAMS STADIUMS QUEENSLAND FOR ‘GOUGING’ FOOTBALL FRANCHISES

4th October 2017 - SMALL DECLINE IN ATTENDANCES AT STADIUMS QUEENSLAND VENUES 

7th July 2017 - POPULOUS EXPLAINS HOW TECHNOLOGY WILL TRANSFORM FUTURE STADIUM EXPERIENCES

12th June 2017 - GABBA UNVEILS NEW HIGH-DEFINITION JUMBO SCREEN

11th May 2017 - REFURBISHED QUEENSLAND CRICKETERS CLUB REOPENED AT THE GABBA 

20th March 2017 - METRICON STADIUM TO HOST HISTORIC AFL WOMEN’S GRAND FINAL 

27th February 2017 - TRANSPORT DISPUTE MARS PREPARATIONS FOR ADELE’S UPCOMING BRISBANE CONCERTS 

12th October 2016 - SMALL IMPROVEMENT IN ATTENDANCES AT STADIUMS QUEENSLAND VENUES

2nd September 2016 - BRISBANE STADIUMS TO GET SIGNIFICANT DIGITAL UPGRADE 

1st June 2016 - CRICKET AUSTRALIA AGREES GABBA TEST CRICKET DEAL

29th October 2015 - SIGNIFICANT ATTENDANCE FALLS ACROSS STADIUMS QUEENSLAND VENUES

19th September 2015 - THE GABBA COULD MISS OUT ON FUTURE TEST MATCHES TO ADELAIDE AND PERTH

27th June 2015 - CRICKET AUSTRALIA LOOKS TO STATES TO PAY MORE FOR TEST CRICKET HOSTING


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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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