In recent months it has come to the attention of Brisbane residents that the Queensland Government has a master plan in place for the refurbishment of the Gabba and its surrounding areas. It was revealed recently that the Gabba would miss out on the first test against India because the stadium was considered too outdated for international cricket matches to be played there.
On August 20, Sports Minister Mick de Brenni announced the Government is “going to market” for the naming rights to the Gabba to raise funding for redevelopment. With the word "Gabba" remaining, it opens the opportunity for large corporates to add their name to the stadium.
Every significant sporting ground in Australia has been renovated in the last five years except for the Gabba, and now that the future development of the Cross River Rail delivers a brand new train station directly out the front of the stadium, it opens up the need to refurbish to an international level.
Treasurer Jackie Trad also announced on August 20, $2 million has been allocated to start the business case to redevelop the Gabba’s surrounding areas to coincide with the Cross River Rail project.
Notable features of the redevelopment will include a sizeable elevated pedestrian bridge and plaza at the western end of the stadium, directly linking it to the Cross River Rail station. It will also include pedestrian bridges to connect Vulture and Stanley streets and a huge LED façade or ‘media halo’ built around the entire stadium.
With the completion of the Cross River Rail by 2024, the area would be evolved into a landscaped space with scattered big-screens throughout.
Inside the stadium there would be improvements to meeting spaces, standing areas, a large spectator deck, six new entrances, additional LED screens at each ends of the stadium, upgraded corporate suites, an internal ‘media halo’ which will offer digital projection and lighting, converting the underneath of the roof into a 360-degree media screen. One other exciting feature is an Australian first field-level suite, offering up-close viewing to player areas on the field.
Although the recent report shows the redevelopment could take well over a decade to compete, the Cross River Rail project will most likely push its delivery to the 2024 timeframe.