The RNA Showgrounds is emerging as a pivotal player in the transformation of Brisbane’s sporting landscape in the lead up to the 2032 Summer Olympic Games, as the QLD state government unveils an ambitious plan to construct a new practical 20,000-seat stadium. This initiative represents a substantial investment of nearly $50 million from the government, marking a significant stride towards the estimated $150 million construction cost.
Under the comprehensive plan devised by the government, contributions from the Brisbane City Council, RNA, and relevant sporting bodies are anticipated to play a crucial role in securing the remaining costs for the upgraded RNA stadium.
Nonetheless, a spokesperson for Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner emphasized that the decision to dismantle the Gabba stadium rests with the state, underscoring the state’s responsibility to find a temporary home for the Lions during the construction phase.
The announcement has ignited discussions about the need for an independent infrastructure authority to guide decisions related to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Acknowledging the significance of keeping Brisbane teams within the city during the Gabba’s redevelopment, the spokesperson expressed satisfaction with the state’s recognition of this necessity.
However, concerns have been raised by Lions and Heat fans, who are rightfully perturbed by the state’s apparent failure to make a substantial funding commitment for the temporary stadium, risking the possibility of their teams being left without a home.
Addressing the longstanding debate about the Brisbane Lions’ venue during the Gabba’s reconstruction, Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe shed light on the state’s commitment to invest up to $45.7 million in creating a permanent seating bowl beneath a temporary grandstand at Machinery Hill. This initiative is a crucial component of a more extensive $137 million main arena upgrade, designed to facilitate major sporting events and leave a lasting community legacy.
However, this commitment comes with a condition: the venue must revert to a 12,000-seat capacity in “legacy mode” post the 2032 Games. This condition aims to ensure that events are not diverted from the newly revamped Gabba, which is undergoing a substantial $2.7 billion redevelopment.
Reports suggest that the government informed other organizing bodies and the council only last Thursday, with the council expressing surprise at the additional $100 million that would need to be sourced outside the state government.
Hinchliffe emphasized the urgency of commencing work on the RNA main arena next year to ensure readiness for the 2025-26 cricket season and the 2026 commencement of the Gabba redevelopment. The developments indicate a dynamic and transformative phase in Brisbane’s sporting infrastructure, setting the stage for a future defined by state-of-the-art facilities and heightened sporting experiences.
Various proposals for alternative venues for AFL and cricket matches during the Gabba’s multi-year redevelopment have been considered, including the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre in Nathan, Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast, and the Lions’ training ground at Springfield.
Advocating for the RNA’s redevelopment, Adrian Schrinner asserted that upgrading the historic arena earlier makes sense, ensuring that significant economic benefits from hosting major AFL and cricket games aren’t lost during the Gabba’s reconstruction, however expressed that the state government should fund the project as its outside council jurisdiction.
Note: The information presented in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, financial, or professional advice. While we make every effort to fact-check and verify the information presented, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Readers are encouraged to independently verify any information they find on our website and to consult with relevant professionals before making any decisions based on the information presented.