Lessons can be learned from modern stadiums in Australia and around the world to make the Gabba a better “holistic experience” for Brisbane spectators, Queensland Sport Minister Mick De Brenni says.
Cricket Australia has signalled that the Gabba has dropped to fifth in the pecking order of capital city venues, behind the recently redeveloped Adelaide Oval and the new Perth stadium, with Brisbane overlooked for next summer’s four-Test series against India.
Although Brisbane and Canberra will host Tests against Sri Lanka, many cricket authorities and commentators consider the ageing Gabba’s spectator amenities, public transport access and overall stadium design to be inferior to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
“Other stadiums across the nation are developing a holistic experience in terms of attending sport,” Mr De Brenni said.
“It’s not just what you see out on the pitch, it’s the entire experience.
“Stadiums Queensland looks right around the globe for leading-edge improvements that we can make to the Gabba.
“We’ll be working through options on that in coming months.
“Clearly the other stadiums are [also] much larger than the Gabba.”
Mr De Brenni said the Cross River Rail project, which would include a new Woolloongabba Station, would also see private sector investment in the surrounding area, “to improve the overall experience”. “Getting to and from the venue is important, enjoying a meal with friends — enlivening the entire Gabba precinct will be a feature of Cross River Rail,” he said.
“We want to make sure that the Gabba continues to represent a great experience for everybody and so I’ll be continuing my discussions with Cricket Australia, working through Stadiums Queensland and making sure we offer a high value experience.”
Mr De Brenni said the state budget would focus on jobs, health and education — but investing in the Gabba would reap returns.