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Cricket might lose out yet another iconic stadium, The Gabba

The Gabba has a fight on its hands to maintain its status as the venue for the first Test of every summer.

As rival states continue to plough money into stadium redevelopments or entirely new facilities, Brisbane risks being left behind without fresh investment, according to Cricket Australia's high performance boss Pat Howard.

Despite one of the best and most iconic pitches in world cricket and the Australian team's 25-year unbeaten record there, the Gabba will soon slip to arguably the fifth-best Test venue in the country following the announcement of a new 60,000-seat stadium in Perth, to be completed by 2018.

Coupled with the recent renovations to Adelaide Oval, it's not inconceivable to imagine Brisbane missing out on hosting rights in any future four-Test series.

Howard said "competition" between venues has heated up and that the Gabba must match the pace.


There has been growth in the stadiums around the country. Making sure that Brisbane and Queensland stay competitive in this space is pretty important.

- Howard said.

"I think there is a lot of opportunity to deal with it. Not just inside the ground, but outside the ground, the precinct, the accessibility... (it needs to be) a good stadium comparable with all the other ones around Australia.


I know those at the Gabba are well and truly across all of those [possibilities] but how they get them going and in what timeframe is obviously always going to be a challenge.

The new Perth Stadium, to be constructed in the inner-city suburb of Burswood, will replace the WACA Ground as the venue for all international matches against England, South Africa and India and all Big Bash League fixtures.

The move sparked an outcry from WA cricket figures - including WACA president Dennis Lillee, who resigned in protest, and one-day international star Nathan Coulter-Nile, who said he "hates" cricket's shift away from traditional grounds in favour of drop-in pitches at multi-use facilities.

Few will want to see the Gabba suffer the same fate. Gabba venue manager Blair Conaghan said the stadium was about to start a "master planning exercise" which will map out what needs to be spent and where in the coming years.

"This will take a long-term view of how the venue associates with development in the wider precinct," Conaghan said.


Traditionally the Gabba Test is the first of the summer and I am sure that is a tradition Queensland cricket will want to maintain.

The Gabba's last major redevelopment was completed in 2005 and involved the construction of a 24-bay grandstand, bringing the stadium's capacity to 42,000.


Sydney: Sydney Cricket Ground (capacity: 48,000)
Melbourne: Melbourne Cricket Ground (capacity: 100,000)
Adelaide: Adelaide Oval (capacity: 53,500)
Perth: Perth Stadium (capacity: 60,000) *to be completed in 2018
Brisbane: The Gabba (capacity: 42,000)
Hobart: Bellerive Oval (capacity: 20,000)

Source - AAP

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