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South East Queensland Mayors reveal details of 2032 Olympic Games vision
The Council of Mayors for South East Queensland (SEQ) has unveiled a feasibility study into a potential bid to host the 2032 summer Olympic Games, including the prospect of new stadia in anchor city Brisbane.
The group is planning a region-wide bid based on the use of existing and planned facilities to keep costs at a minimum. The masterplan envisions Brisbane providing 21 venues, with the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast each providing five facilities, Ipswich and Toowoomba two, and Redland, Moreton Bay and Logan council areas providing one venue apiece.
The main Olympic Village would be located in Brisbane with satellite villages in the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. While outlining that a site for the Olympic Stadium will require further analysis, the study has identified a future need for a smaller, rectangular stadium in Brisbane to supplement Suncorp Stadium. This would be built as a 25,000 – 30,000 capacity stadium, allowing for temporary adaptation to increase the seating capacity to 55,000 at Games time.
The study states that the operational budget for an SEQ Games would be approximately $5.3 billion, which would be offset by claimed potential International Olympic Committee (IOC) contributions of $1.7 billion and projected domestic revenue of $2.7 billion. SEQ claims this would result in a net operating cost for an Olympic and Paralympic Games of $900 million, stating the equivalent figure was $1.2 billion for the Gold Coast’s staging of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The study states that South East Queensland already has 60% of the venues needed for the 2032 Olympic Games, with the potential for 30% more to be delivered as the region continues to grow. Where there is no community need for a venue, the study recommends that lower cost temporary venues should be utilised.
SEQ Chair and Brisbane Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk, highlighted that the Olympic Movement is currently going through a period of reform and cost-cutting that could see SEQ reap the economic and social benefits of a Games without the expensive price tag.
Lord Mayor Quirk stated “the IOC is now encouraging hosts to reduce venue sizes, rethink transport options and reuse existing infrastructure.
“It was the IOC’s cost cutting reforms that first attracted the SEQ Mayors to investigate this opportunity. We were keen to see whether SEQ could deliver a cost-effective plan to host the Olympic Games by reusing the region’s existing facilities, and in turn, creating a catalyst for infrastructure delivery and job creation.
“This study has shown that SEQ could mount a successful bid without the need to build venues just for an Olympic Games. In doing so, we would be able to keep costs to a minimum while maximising the potential benefits and legacies for the region.
“While the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games was a great demonstration of Queensland’s ability to deliver world class events, ticket sales for an SEQ Olympic Games would be at least five times greater and the value of the international exposure generated for our region would likely be in the multiple billions.”
Commenting further on the stadium situation, Quirk told the ABC that Brisbane needs an additional stadium, which could host at least 55,000 people, but stressed a need keep plans in-house at presen, adding “that would give our opponents down the track information. We do need a new stadium, there’s no question about it.”
The Mayne rail yards at Bowen Hills has been touted as a potential site for an Olympic Stadium, but Queensland’s Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said this location would come with “lots of complications”.
Treasurer Trad told the Brisbane Times newspaper “we’re talking about a site that was being used as a stabling facility, a railway infrastructure asset for more than a century. There’s going to be a lot of contamination issues. This is also a site that is essentially a swamp, as well.”
Queensland Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk added “first and foremost, there would have to be agreement on all levels of government.
“Secondly, we would have to see a very strong contribution from the federal government, the likes of which we saw for the Sydney Olympics, and we have not had any of those conversations with the federal government. And thirdly, I don’t think Queenslanders want an Olympics just concentrated in the south-east. We’re a very big state and it would have to be inclusive of Queensland.”
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has welcomed the 2032 SEQ Olympic Bid, but said Gold Coast ratepayers will not contribute financially.
He advised "we've done our heavy lifting ... we paid for, and ran, the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
"I'd rather see money going into roads, soccer fields, parks, koala habitat and beach protection.
"We won't be asking any ratepayer to pay towards a 2032 Olympic Bid. Having said that, we certainly wish the SEQ Council of Mayors all the best."
Mayor Tate said if successful, the 2032 Olympic organisers were welcome to include the Gold Coast’s venues in their planning and competition.
The study recommends that a decision on whether to bid for the 2032 Olympics should be confirmed prior to the Tokyo 2020 Games, with the host anticipated to be announced by the IOC in 2025.
Image: The Anna Meares Velodrome would likely be a key 2032 Games venue if the SEQ Olympics bid is successful (top), a record crowd of 10,680 fans packing into council’s Sunshine Coast Stadium for the NRL pre-season trial match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday 23rd February (middle) and the Brisbane riverfront).
19th December 2018 - Taskforce sets out future for Stadiums Queensland venues
24th September 2018 - Commonwealth Games legacy sees opening of National Squash Centre at Carrara
30th August 2018 - Gold Coast Commonwealth Games organising committee ends operations
10th July 2018 - New Brisbane cycling festival builds on Commonwealth Games legacy
4th July 2018 - Train station demolition to herald Brisbane Live development
30th April 2015 - IOC President backs 2028 Australian Olympic bid during Canberra visit
5th August 2013 - Adelaide to investigate 2030 Commonwealth Games bid
9th April 2011 - Queensland Leaders to lodge Commonwealth Games bid
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