Protests Erupt as Brisbane Cricket Ground, The Gabba, Set to Be Demolished
Huge protests have taken place in Australia as one of the world's most iconic cricket grounds, The Gabba, is slated for demolition. The 42,000-capacity stadium, also known as the Brisbane Cricket Ground, will be knocked down in 2025 after the Ashes Test, making way for a major rebuild ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
£1.4BN Renovation Plans for The Gabba Unveiled
The Gabba Stadium, famous for its unique features like the swimming pool where fans watched the Ashes in 2017, will undergo a £1.4BN redevelopment. The Queensland government has committed to this project to ensure it becomes the centerpiece of the upcoming Games. The renovation will increase the stadium's capacity to 50,000 and enable it to host 80,000 attendees for concerts and similar events.
Temporary Stadium Solution for Displaced AFL and T20 Teams
During the four-year rebuild, the Brisbane Lions AFL team and the Brisbane Heat T20 side will be left without a home. To address this, the Queensland government plans to create a temporary 20,000-seater stadium at Brisbane's Showgrounds, with a contribution of £24m. However, the funding for this temporary solution is still being negotiated between the Brisbane city council, AFL and cricket authorities, and the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland.
Protesters Call for Rethink, Pointing to Housing and Cost of Living Issues
Following the recent announcements, hundreds of angry fans gathered outside The Gabba to protest against the demolition. They urged Queensland Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk to reconsider, arguing that the billions of dollars being invested should instead be directed towards addressing the state's housing and cost of living problems.
Issues Plague The Gabba in Recent Years
The aging Gabba has faced various problems in recent times. In March 2022, an AFL match between Brisbane and Melbourne was marred by farcical scenes when the lights went out, causing the game to be stopped. Similar power outages have also affected cricket matches held at the stadium.