Australian Olympic Committee president Ian Chesterman has supported calls to scrap the Gabba redevelopment proposal for the 2032 Brisbane Games, believing there are “more creative solutions” available.
Chesterman’s comments came a day after Olympic leader John Coates also said plans for a $2.7 billion rebuild would be abandoned because it was “not enough to cover” financially.
“The (International Olympic Committee’s) new regulatory process is designed to ensure the Games are affordable and sustainable, with a strong preference for the use of existing or temporary facilities,” Chesterman said.
Chesterman said the AOC supported reviewing the Games plans, on the same day Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner declared the Gabba rebuild “dead, buried and burned”, and the Greens called on the Prime Minister to cancel the plans.
‘We believe there are more creative solutions than rebuilding the Gabba for the Games, providing a legacy for our sports and even greater access for fans to an exceptional Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“We will present these ideas to the review committee.”
IOC Vice President Coates called for the reconstruction to be canceled and for the opening and closing ceremonies to be held at Suncorp Stadium, with athletics at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre.
An artist’s impression shows what could have been if the Gabba had been completely rebuilt for the 2023 Olympics.
AOC president Ian Chesterman has supported calls to scrap the Gabba redevelopment.
Cricket will be the biggest loser as the Gabba have fallen to fifth place in the Test venue rankings following the rebuilding and construction of Adelaide Oval from the Optus Stadium in Perth.
The impending decision leaves cricket as the “biggest loser”, according to veteran News Corp journalist Robert ‘Crash’ Craddock.
The venue had hoped to gain access to major Australian matches once refurbished, but could be left with minor testing, behind the refurbished Adelaide Oval and the still-new Optus Stadium, plus the MCG and SCG in much larger cities.
“It condemns the Gabba to being the fifth best venue in Australia for the next 20 years,” Craddock told SENQ Breakfast.
‘It’s a real setback because (the Gabba) counted on this and now it no longer exists.
‘The Gabba redevelopment has just become political poison, especially with the (state) elections looming this year.
‘Both sides of politics were terrified given that the public is more concerned about (the perception of) youth crime, the cost of living and housing.
“Renovating a stadium was way down the list.”
The Brisbane Lions are the Gabba’s main tenant and face a nervous wait to see if they will have to find a new home while work on the Olympic Games venue is underway.
There have been protests against the rebuilding of the Gabba by locals who want to save a neighboring school from demolition.
Also awaiting the results of the review are the Brisbane Lions, who play their home games at the Gabba.
While the Lions had no comment on Thursday, a statement issued by the club in November last year said it supported the redevelopment of the Gabba.
“The venue has been our home for the last 30 years and the refurbishment ensures it will be suitable for the next 30 years,” said Lions president Andrew Wellington.
“As a club we are likely to reach 60,000 members in 2024, we are the club that attracts the biggest crowds, we have sold out seven tickets this year and I have no doubt that we will fill the new Gabba on a regular basis sooner.” to the Olympic Games and in the years to come.
Brisbane Heat fans are also gathered to see the fate of the Gabba after winning the Big Bash League in 2024.
The Gabba’s future is in limbo and the Olympics are likely to share multiple venues rather than focus on one.
‘We understand the need and also the wider benefits that this project and the associated urban renewal works will bring to the city and the wider district as a result of projects such as Cross River Rail.
‘There are benefits here for commuters, event attendees, new community spaces and the delivery of a commercial and residential district that includes affordable housing opportunities.
“We look forward to receiving a more detailed update from the Gabba and a government decision on the displacement of the Lions headquarters in the near future, recognizing the needs of our many fans and the extended period of displacement.”
However, both the Lions and the Gabba’s other tenants, Queensland Cricket, resisted being asked by the state government to contribute millions of dollars to help fund an upgrade of the Brisbane Showgrounds, which had been the Lions’ home ground and Queensland. cricket team while the Gabba was being developed.