Saturday April 13, 2024

Olympians call for Brisbane 2032 stadium rethink

April 03, 2024
This image shows a view of Gabba Stadium in Brisbane. — AFP/File
This image shows a view of Gabba Stadium in Brisbane. — AFP/File

SYDNEY: A group of local Olympians, including London 2012 champion hurdler Sally Pearson, have called on the Queensland government to reverse a decision to stage the athletics at the 2032 Brisbane Games in a 49-year-old suburban stadium.

The 14 Olympians and Paralympians, who also included swimming champions Leisel Jones, Jon Sieben and Grant Hackett, said in a letter that the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC) was not a suitable venue for the Olympics.

“While we understand that you want to get the best value for taxpayers out of the Games, we do not believe that the QSAC site represents that, not just financially but also in terms of a legacy for Brisbane and Queensland,” they wrote.

“And frankly, a main stadium with a capacity of only 40,000 would be an embarrassment which in no way would represent the go-ahead spirit of Queensland.” Organisers originally planned to revamp the city’s Gabba cricket stadium to host the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics in 2032 but the local government blanched at the cost and ordered a review of plans last December. The Quirk review reported last month and proposed a new purpose-built 55,000-seat Olympic stadium be constructed in an inner city park at a cost of A$3.4 billion ($2.21 billion).