BRISBANE: There are plans to demolish the Australian cricket team's fortress, The Gabba stadium, and rebuilt it as the main venue for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, if the quadrennial showpiece is awarded to Brisbane.
Sports website insidethegames.biz said on Tuesday that Brisbane is the favourite to host the Summer Games, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) short-listed it as a leading contender.
The city could spend as much as 778 million dollars for the rebuilding of the stadium. Besides cricket, the stadium currently hosts rugby and AFL football matches.
The Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said on Tuesday that The Gabba would stage the Opening and Closing Ceremonies if the Games were awarded to the city.
"Every Games needs a home. The Gabba has been home to our sport since 1895. A home for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games could be its crowning glory," said Palaszczuk, adding, that the stadium would be "essentially demolished".
There are reports that the stadium's capacity could be increased from the current 42,000 to 50,000, but the huge rebuilding cost could become a sore point with the people of the country.
"We looked at a number of options about whether we could remodel. We are actually going to lift this stadium," said Palaszczuk.
Brisbane Lord, Mayor Adrian Schrinner, also hailed the plans.
"Council's investment in the Brisbane Metro will help move tens of thousands of people to the doorstep of this venue, with capacity for high-frequency, 24/7 trips," he said, adding, "The Gabba is the right choice for the 2032 Games and will also benefit countless major events over the decades to come."
During the Indian cricket team's last tour of Australia, "Fortress Gabba" was breached when the visitors defeated Australia in the fourth and final Test to break their unbeaten run since 1988. IANS