Queensland Cricket Sounds Alarm Over Gabba’s Revamp, Proposes Renovation of Allan Border Field

Queensland Cricket’s Chairman Chris Simpson, and Chief Executive Terry Svenson have proposed a revitalisation of Allan Border Field. The proposed revamp is to be done ahead of the comprehensive reconstruction of the Gabba, in preparation for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Queensland Cricket recently called for a significant renovation of Allan Border Field citing the Gabba’s unavailability during rebuild, scheduled to commence in December 2025.

The Gabba is in line for a substantial upgrade that comes with an estimated price tag of AUD$ 2.7 billion, as it assumes the central role for the 2032 Olympic Games.

An open letter from Queensland Cricket expresses these concerns, stating in part that: “As a result, we face the real prospect of losing important Test and BBL cricket matches from Queensland to interstate venues during the pre-Olympic displacement from the Gabba and hold a reasonable fear that a suitable solution to enable continuity of matches in Brisbane may not meet our needs or expectations.”

They further said that, “as a not-for-profit body, our concerns encompass the effect such uncertainty could have on participation throughout Queensland and the ensuing material financial impact across multiple areas of the sport, including at the grass roots level. We are preparing ourselves for a worst-case scenario where cricket could face the loss of access to the Gabba for potentially greater than seven years during the period of demolition, construction, and post-Games return.”

At present, Allan Border Field serves as the host venue for women’s international matches, the Women’s Big Bash League, and domestic fixtures. Simpson and Svenson advocate for strategic enhancements to enable the facility to broaden its hosting scope, deeming this approach the most sensible, cost-effective, and timely course of action for the sport.

“We see the Allan Border Field precinct playing a major role in hosting more cricket while the Gabba is being redeveloped, while other options presently available to cricket will mitigate some of the displacement challenges, including Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast and regional centres.”

Queensland Cricket

“Queensland Cricket will strongly advocate for top level cricket (Test Matches, Women’s, and Men’s Big Bash League (W/BBL), ODIs, T20Is) to continue to be played in Brisbane during those seasons when the Gabba is unavailable. The most efficient, cost-effective, and timely option to enable this is for Allan Border Field to be upgraded with a capacity of 10,000 permanent seats.”

Their vision for the Albion site entails expanding its seating capacity to 10,000 permanent seats—an impressive increase of 3,500 from its existing capacity of 6,500. Notably, Allan Border Field is already equipped with a fixed wicket block and cricket-specific infrastructure, encompassing elements such as sight screens, a vision screen, field lighting, and broadcasting necessities. The facility also includes outdoor and indoor training amenities.

In the upcoming Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Gabba is designated to host athletics competitions as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Published 13-August-2023

National Cricket Campus Development in Albion Begins Stage C

Stage C of the National Cricket Campus development in Albion has begun, comprising improvements for the Allan Border Field and Ray Lindwall Oval. The project aims to transform the popular sports site into a world-class facility to be used by various teams and community clubs.

The $18.8 million National Cricket Campus project has been funded by Australian and Queensland Governments, Brisbane City Council, Cricket Australia, Queensland Cricket and Northern Suburbs District Cricket Club. Hutchinson Builders is the principal contractor for the project and has successfully completed the delivery of Stage A and B on Shaw Road in December 2020. 

Stage C of this development will deliver the following features: 

  • Five new international wickets, including a subcontinent preparation pitch.
  • An extended Allan Border Field boundary size.
  • Terrace seating and a new electronic scoreboard.
  • New lighting for training areas.
  • A new amenity building to include change rooms, ground manager’s office and high-performance offices.
  • Improved drainage and turf facility management to allow for 365-day-a-year field usage. 

Whilst development is ongoing, teams and clubs may use the new training fields on Shaw Road. 

“Brisbane is increasingly seen as the home of cricket in Australia. But this project is exciting not only for the city, but for the entire cricket community around the country,” MP Trevor Evans said. Mr Evans was at the sod-turning ceremony on 22 July. 

“These new facilities will ensure that all our cricketers have the amenities and playing grounds to thrive, as well nurture our next generation of Tim Paines and Meg Lannings”. 

Stage C is expected to finish by May 2022. Once the Campus fully opens, it is expected to boost economic activity in Brisbane when international and national training programs begin. The  National Cricket Campus will be open year-round.