Photo Credit: Queensland Cricket
Queensland Cricket and Cricket Australia understand from recent announcements that the Queensland Government will commit over $45 million towards the redevelopment of the RNA Showgrounds, which is estimated to cost around $137 million.
This follows its earlier announcement that it will demolish and rebuild the Gabba ahead of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games at a cost of approximately $2.7 billion.
We strongly support Brisbane hosting the games and the many benefits they will bring to Queensland and Australia.
We also recognise the rejuvenation of the Gabba will provide a sustainable, world-class stadium that will enable fans to enjoy the games in 2032 and support cricket in the long-term.
However, the government has advised us that Cricket, together with the Brisbane Lions, the Australian Football League, Brisbane City Council and the RNA, must fund most of the costs of building a temporary venue at the RNA Showgrounds, which would need to be completed in less than two-years according to timeframes provided for the Gabba rebuild.
We cannot support the expectation that the sports fund the cost of their own displacement from the Gabba, as this will have detrimental long-term financial and operational implications for our sport, including at community level for players, volunteers and fans throughout Queensland.
Furthermore, it makes no sense for us to contribute up to $90 million towards a temporary venue that will get little use when the Gabba comes back online. It is for this reason that Cricket has put forward a case to the government to upgrade Allan Border Field (Albion), an investment that also provides a venue to accommodate matches in the lead-up to and during the games in the likely event that cricket features in the 2032 program, as well as a lasting legacy for the game.
We are also disappointed by the lack of detailed consultation, despite our continued requests for information including relevant timeframes.
We will continue to engage with the government and other relevant partners in the hope that we can put in place arrangements to ensure that the ongoing commercial viability and the positive economic and social impacts of cricket are maintained in Queensland.