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Small decline in attendances at Stadiums Queensland venues

Small decline in attendances at Stadiums Queensland venues
October 4, 2017

Stadiums Queensland venues welcomed 43,462 fewer people through their turnstiles and recorded a 15% drop in income in the last fiscal year.

As advised in the latest Stadiums Queensland annual report, in 2016/17, Stadiums Queensland welcomed 3.99 million patrons across its nine venues, compared with 4.03 million the previous year.

While The Gabba, Cbus Super Stadium, Sleeman Sports Complex, the Queensland Tennis Centre and Metricon Stadium were all more popular in 2016/17, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre at Nathan and the 1300SMILES Stadium in Townsville all recorded fewer attendees.

In March, two Adele concerts at The Gabba, the first concerts at the venue in more than 30 years, attracted record crowds of 120,000 people. The year also saw the Gabba hosts its first day/night cricket Test.

Other highlights of the year included Suncorp Stadium hosting Coldplay and Justin Bieber, Metricon Stadium hosting the inaugural AFL Womens grand final, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre attracting Bruce Springsteen, Keith Urban and the Dixie Chicks and QSAC staging a Guns N' Roses concert.

Behind the scenes a $7 million capital project delivered four new high definition LED screens to both Suncorp Stadium and The Gabba, enhancing the quality and size of the previous screens at each venue.

Attendances at Stadiums Queensland venues in the past two financial years.

The Gabba also benefitted from a $1.3 million upgrade of field and practice wickets lighting using energy efficient and durable LED lighting technology.

While Queensland Ministers released statements on a range of departmental and agency annual reports, no statement was issued by Queensland Sport Minister Mick de Brenni on Stadiums Queensland’s performance.

However, the Brisbane Times did quote Minister de Brenni advising that Queensland had some of the nation's best venues and consistently hosted some of the world's best events, commenting “whether it's sport or music, Queenslanders love getting out and getting amongst it."

The Brisbane Times also quoted a Stadiums Queensland spokesman advising that patronage had  remained relatively stable across the nine venue, with only a minor variance of about 1% on the previous financial year.

The spokesman advised “to put this in context, the change is less than one extra event at Suncorp Stadium.

"Last year's difference is due primarily to some extra one-off events that arose or were secured in 2015/16 compared to the current financial year, which included Liverpool FC and Manchester FC matches and an NRL finals home match that was played in Townsville."

The Jeff Horn-Manny Pacquiao fight, held just outside the last financial year on 2nd July, will likely boost next year's patronage numbers, as it attracted a crowd of more than 50,000 while next year's figures will also include the third State of Origin match, held at Suncorp Stadium in July this year.

The Stadiums Queensland spokesman said upcoming events included Paul McCartney, the Foo Fighters, two Ed Sheeran concerts, Bruno Mars, Robbie Williams, Roger Waters, the Gabba hosting the opening match of the Ashes series and five Big Bash matches.

The spokesman added "all expected to attract very strong crowds.”

While the report breaks down attendances on a venue by venue basis it does not do the same for financial performance.

Click here to read the Stadiums Queensland 2016/17 annual report.

Images: Adele at The Gabba (top) and Suncorp Stadium's new screen (below)

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