Olympics: International Olympic Committee unconcerned, as Queensland government reject new stadium proposal for Brisbane 2032

Annastacia Palaszczuk MP celebrates Brisbane's selection for 2032 Olympics.
Annastacia Palaszczuk MP celebrates Brisbane's selection for 2032 Olympics. Photo credit: Getty Images

The Brisbane 2032 Olympics must fit the city and the region, and not the other way round, insists the International Olympic Committee, less than two weeks after plans to construct a new stadium were scrapped.

The existing Lang Park stadium will host the Games opening and closing ceremonies, after the Queensland government rejected the recommendation of a review that a new A$3.4 billion arena be built in the city.

The Quirk Review was commissioned by the government to look into a plan to rebuild the city's Gabba cricket ground to host the ceremonies and athletics at the Games, as part of a A$2.7 billion redevelopment of the Woolloongabba suburb.

Queensland Premier Steven Miles decided the stadium would be upgraded, rather than torn down and rebuilt.

"For us, the messaging is clear - the Games will need to fit the region," said Kirsty Coventry, who heads the IOC's Coordination Commission, following a meeting with Brisbane Games organisers.

"They [region] need to decide what's best for them and everyone who lives in these areas, and the Games will adapt to that."

With the Games still more than eight years away, she says this is the time for any major changes.

"Brisbane will now refine the venue master plan," said Coventry. "It will take a bit of time for stakeholders, specifically in different levels of government, to decide what's best for city, the region and the country.

"The games will fit into that."

Lang Park, better known as Suncorp Stadium, holds 52,500 fans and hosts both rugby codes, as well as concerts.

Brisbane was awarded the Olympics in 2021 under the IOC's New Norm process, a targeted procedure aimed at saving hundreds of millions of dollars for host cities and increasing long-term sustainability.

About 80 percent of the venues for the 2032 Games are in place, with the main stadium redevelopment and a federal government-funded A$2.5 billion arena to host swimming the only two major construction projects planned.

"There is no concern at this stage, not at all," said Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi. "These are decisions to be made by the communities and when you have the support from the ground up, this is how you ensure you have no further issues down the road."

The 2024 Olympics will be held at Paris and Los Angeles will host the 2028 Games.