Olympics

Brisbane declared ‘preferred host’ for 2032 Olympics, but which stadiums could feature?

Austadiums   |  Thursday 25th February 2021
View of the Gabba - a stadium likely to feature during the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane

The IOC has designated Brisbane as the “preferred candidate city” to host the 2032 Summer Olympic Games, with the city’s mayor saying up to 90 per cent of the venues would be temporary or existing.

The news was delivered by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach during a press conference in Switzerland on Wednesday morning (Australian time).

"We have unanimously after a very intense discussion approved this recommendation," Mr Bach said.

"The commission based on this decision will start more detailed discussions with the Brisbane 2032 committee and the Australian Olympic Committee about their potential to host the Olympic Games 2032."

If the discussions are successful and Brisbane meets the requirements, then the Queensland capital will become the third Australian city to host the Olympic Games, after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.

The bid extends beyond Brisbane, with South-East Queensland to host the Games, seeing regions including the Gold Coast, which successfully hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and the Sunshine Coast, set to be part of the action.

While it was revealed in September 2019 a new world-class 80,000-seat Brisbane stadium would be built as part of the city’s Olympic bid, the bid document now includes a potential 50,000-capacity stadium at Albion to host athletics and the ceremonies. Find out more about the proposed venues here.

The days of building future white elephants for Olympic Games are over. While Sydney’s stadium legacy has largely been given a green tick, other cities have failed the test, with numerous venues in Athens, Rio de Janeiro and even Beijing laying abandoned, left in ruins, in the years following their respective Games’.

Stadium Australia during the Sydney 2000 Olympics

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner explained that under the IOC's new norm, there's a greater ability to use existing venues to keep costs down.

“There's also the opportunity to use temporary venues as well, we'll be taking advantage of that.

“So, we have 85 to 90 per cent of the venues that are either existing venues, or the ability to have temporary venues.”

South East Queensland will instead focus on fast-tracking big ticket infrastructure items such as transport.

Previously identified sites for a new stadium include the RNA Showgrounds, QSAC at Nathan, the Mayne Rodd Rail Yards at Bowen Hills and Albion Park, which appears to be the preferred location.

The Gabba in its existing form is considered too small to serve as the main stadium, with a capacity of 42,000, however expansion may be an option. Transport links to the venue will improve in future years, with the opening of the Cross River Rail project, which includes an underground station adjacent to the Gabba.

Other venues including Suncorp Stadium, the Queensland Tennis Centre, Nissan Arena and the Sleeman Sports Complex are likely to feature in the final bid, while a new aquatics centre and indoor sports centre have been proposed for Brisbane.

VIEW A LIST OF BRISBANE STADIUMS >

The Olympics would revitalise the city’s stadium infrastructure, with existing venues including the Brisbane Aquatic Centre, Brisbane Entertainment Centre & Queensland Sport & Athletic Centre (main stadium of the 1982 Commonwealth Games) considered dated facilities, requiring significant redevelopments to bring them up to standard, or completely new venues to replace them.

Queensland Sport & Athletic Centre at Nathan

A host of venues on the Gold Coast used for the recent Commonwealth Games, including Metricon Stadium and Cbus Super Stadium, are set to form part of the bid, while it should also boost Sunshine Coast Stadium’s hopes of proceeding with its redevelopment, after it recently missed out on federal funding.

Being named preferred candidate gives Brisbane exclusive access to convince the IOC without competition from other cities and countries, including Doha, Istanbul, Germany, China and Indonesia, who have all signalled their hunger for the 2032 event.

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The IOC has designated Brisbane as the “preferred candidate city” to host the 2032 Summer Olympic Games, with the city’s mayor saying up to 90 per cent of the venues would be temporary or existing.
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