Gabba hopes for more cricket after redevelopment
Queensland Cricket (QC) will call for more international games to be played at The Gabba stadium when the redevelopment there is completed early in 2005.
Peter Beattie, Queensland's prime minister, announced that the final segment of the stadium was on course to be finished early next year, adding 5000 seats and boosting the ground's capacity to 42,000.
Damien Mullins, Queensland Cricket's chairman, welcomed the announcement, saying it should pave the way for more international matches. "In light of this decision, QC looks forward to building a persuasive case for more international cricket to be played at the venue in the future," he said. "The new capacity of 42,000 puts The Gabba on a par with the Sydney Cricket Ground and ensures that Brisbane more than holds its own with the established major cricket venues in Sydney and Melbourne.
"Cricket Australia controls the scheduling of international matches, but we believe there will be strong arguments in The Gabba's favour to increase the number of international games played here."
Mullins said he hoped The Gabba would see more international action, with the stadium due to be completed in time for South Africa's scheduled tour of Australia in 2005-06. The ground usually hosts one Test and two limited-overs internationals each year.
The record attendance for a one-day match at The Gabba is 35,761, for the game between Australia and South Africa on January 20, 2002.
Construction is due to begin in September and is expected to be completed in time for the start of the next Australian Rugby League season. In the redevelopment, the social club in the south-eastern corner of the ground will be demolished, allowing the last segment of the stand to be built, completing the stadium's full circle. Additional corporate suites and dining facilities, better team-bus access, and automated turnstiles will also be built.