artist's imp[ression of sports stadium cricket match

Events promoter says sporting codes cannot afford temporary Ekka stadium

Former Gold Coast Suns chairman Tony Cochrane has hit out at the Palaszczuk government’s move to make sporting codes pay for a temporary stadium while the Gabba is being rebuilt for the 2032 Olympics.

Key points:

Events promoter Tony Cochrane says it is absurd for the state government to ask sporting codes to pay for a temporary stadium
The government has proposed an interim stadium at the Ekka grounds while the Gabba is redeveloped for the Olympics
The state has offered to pay $45.7 million of the $137 million cost, with the rest to come from the AFL, cricket, RNA, and Brisbane City Council

His comments come after the government announced plans to use the Brisbane Showgrounds as an interim venue for the AFL and cricket while the Gabba is being knocked down and redeveloped.

Under the government’s proposal, the state would put $45.7 million towards a $137 million redevelopment at the showgrounds — creating a 20,000-seat stadium.

But the rest of the money would need to come from the two affected sporting codes, Brisbane City Council, and the RNA.

Mr Cochrane — a sports administrator who is a well-known events promoter — said it was absurd to think that those organisations would pay for the temporary fix.

He said none of them had “oodles of cash” to help fund an interim facility while the Gabba redevelopment was underway.

“They don’t have the funding to do something on a temporary basis of that scale,” he told ABC Radio Brisbane.

“It’s not like they can even go to their banks or anybody and say: ‘Look, we just need to borrow $30 million because we’ve got to tip it into this short-term fix for us for four years.’

“The banker or whoever it is [would] say: ‘You’ve got to be kidding us, there’s nothing long term here.’”

Events promoter and former Gold Coast Suns chairman Tony Cochrane.(ABC News: Russell Varley)

Mr Cochrane acknowledged the Gabba needed to be redeveloped, but he also pointed out that the government was expecting others to fund the majority of the temporary home at the showgrounds.

“I think all of those organisations would wear a bit of the pain for the four or five years to get the longer-term fix because the Gabba needs fixing desperately,” he said.

“But the problem with that is that you’re asking them now to pay the lion’s share … of that temporary fix.”

‘We’re not asking them to put in $1’ for the Gabba, says minister

Senior state government minister Shannon Fentiman on Tuesday said the government would continue to work with Queensland Cricket and the AFL to find a temporary home.

“They are going to have the country’s best stadium in a few years’ time and we’re not asking them to put in $1 for that,” she said, referring to the Gabba redevelopment.

“But in the meantime, we need a temporary home.

“They’ve told us they don’t want to go to the Gold Coast. They don’t want to go to Springfield. They want to play in Brisbane city.”

artist's imp[ression of sports stadium cricket match

The proposed stadium at the showgrounds is expected to cost more than $130 million.(Supplied)

Ms Fentiman said the RNA also needed upgrading, and suggested the proposed venue redevelopment at the showgrounds would deliver a legacy for the Ekka.

Queensland Cricket released a statement on Tuesday saying that it could not support an expectation that “the sports fund the cost of their own displacement from the Gabba”.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has also previously hit out at the move from the state to ask the council to contribute towards the Ekka stadium – describing it as extortion.

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Author: Russell White