The Brisbane Cricket Ground, fondly known as The Gabba, is an internationally renowned sports arena in Brisbane that is famous for hosting major events. Named after the suburb of Woolloongabba where the stadium is located, The Gabba was built in 1895 and was last redeveloped in 2005. Due for a major upgrade, this $35 million project modernises the stadium through new and improved public, corporate and media facilities; and revitalises the match-day experience for both visitors and television viewers whilst boosting The Gabba’s ability to attract major names and games to Queensland.
NDY was initially contracted by architect Populous and was novated to the project’s Managing Contractor, BESIX Watpac, following the schematic design. Our involvement from the initial construction stages of this project alongside previous experience within the stadium, was crucial to developing an efficient design. Knowledge of existing systems enabled us to provide end client Stadiums Queensland with value for money outcomes that maximise the vast capabilities available within the facility.
The upgrade includes enhancements to:
- General Admission (ticketing and entry) upgrades to ensure they align with the recent The Gabba security hardening works undertaken by Stadiums Queensland
- 12 work fronts to allow the facility to remain operational around events
- Public concourses
- Food and beverage outlets
- Bar and entertainment spaces
- Corporate spaces
- Media and broadcast facilities (realignment of the TV studios with the field of play, new production/editing room and new camera platforms to meet the latest AFL and Cricket Australia standards)
- Improved signage and wayfinding.
The refurbishment project greatly enhances the stadium’s media and broadcast facilities, providing more space alongside sophisticated technology including a multimedia distribution system (IPTV and digital signage). Spectators will also notice new large format LED boards and ribbon signage around the bowl, that will no doubt help pump up the excitement on match day.
The development of the new production room required careful consideration, in order to maintain operational status for the existing space until construction on the new room was complete. With the stadium’s core broadcast systems located in this room, maintaining function was essential for streaming live television footage of events.
The refurbishment provides The Gabba with greater capacity to manage the facility during events, with enhanced security spaces and entry gate upgrades enabling ease of access whilst improving the security and safety of visitors to the ground. NDY worked closely with Stadiums Queensland to establish a clear understanding of similar areas being refurbished and provide solutions that matched project goals, which was critical to ensuring minimal impact on The Gabba events.
The lighting scheme for the stadium’s entry gates is unique, with our design including a metal mesh panel system with backlighting to generate a “lantern” effect, creating atmosphere and visual appeal for visitors.
Ultimately, the refurbishment project enhances The Gabba as an attractive venue option for major events, improving revenue generation for the facility and boosting the local economy whilst ensuring this iconic stadium is maintained for generations to come.