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

Royal QLD Golf Club in Eagle Farm Eyeing New Short Courses, Practice Facilities

Royal Queensland Golf Club is planning to develop its premises in Eagle Farm, a multimillion-dollar expansion that would include par-3 short courses and practice facilities. 

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After considering a range of options, the Club announced, through a circular sent to members, its plans to invest in short courses and practice facilities to cater to members such as business executives who don’t have much time to play their favourite sport.

Short courses are defined as anything under 6,000 yards. They are divided into three categories: 9-hole courses, par-3 courses and sub-6k-yard courses of any number of holes. 

Photo credit: Royal Queensland Golf Club/Facebook

Although short courses still provide plenty of challenge, they don’t require players to hit the ball excessively, allowing them to score better whilst saving time and developing their golf skills.

The club did not reveal much about the expansion plans but will conduct an online poll by October 2022 to allow members to have their say on the recommendation. 

They previously recommended the establishment of a Top Golf facility, but members opposed the plans, believing that it would diminish the brand of Royal Queensland.

Photo credit: Royal Queensland Golf Club/Facebook

Top Golf does not have a dress code whereas Royal Queensland’s dress code states that members are required to dress and present themselves both on the course and in the clubhouse in a manner respectful of each other and consistent with the club’s standards.

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In the golf and tennis areas, for instance, men’s shirts must be collared and tucked in, short socks must be mainly white, and shoes must be soft spikes only.

Royal Queensland Golf Club believes the interest in the club will remain strong, especially after their successful delivery of the Australian PGA Championship earlier this year.

The expansion also comes ahead of the anticipated Brisbane 2032 Olympics, where the elite club has been confirmed as host of golf competitions.