The Gabba

Last updated

The Gabba
Brisbane Cricket Ground
The Gabba 2017 logo.png
The Gabba Panorama.jpg
Ground information
Location Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia
Coordinates 27°29′9″S153°2′17″E / 27.48583°S 153.03806°E / -27.48583; 153.03806 Coordinates: 27°29′9″S153°2′17″E / 27.48583°S 153.03806°E / -27.48583; 153.03806
Establishment1895
Capacity42,000
36,000 (international cricket)
37,478 (AFL)
Owner Queensland Government
OperatorStadiums Queensland
Tenants Queensland Bulls
Brisbane Lions (AFL)
Brisbane Heat (BBL) & (WBBL)
End names
Stanley Street End
Vulture Street End
International information
First Test27 November – 3 December 1931:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia v Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg  South Africa
Last Test15–19 January 2021:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia v Flag of India.svg  India
First ODI23 December 1979:
Flag of England.svg  England v WestIndiesCricketFlagPre1999.svg  West Indies
Last ODI19 January 2018:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia v Flag of England.svg  England
First T20I9 January 2006:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia v Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Last T20I30 October 2019:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia v Flag of Sri Lanka.svg  Sri Lanka
First women's Test1–5 January 1985:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia v Flag of England.svg  England
Last women's Test15–19 February 2003:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia v Flag of England.svg  England
First WODI16 January 1993:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia v Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Last WODI8 February 1999:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia v Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Team information
Queensland Bulls (1931–present)
Brisbane Bears (AFL)(1991, 1993–1996)
Brisbane Lions (AFL)(1997–present)
Gold Coast Suns (AFL)(2011, 2018)
Brisbane Heat (BBL)(2011–present)
Brisbane Heat (WBBL)(2015–present)
As of 15 January 2021
Source: ESPN Cricinfo

The Brisbane Cricket Ground, commonly known as the Gabba, [1] [2] is a major sports stadium in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, Australia. The nickname Gabba derives from the suburb of Woolloongabba, in which it is located. Over the years, the Gabba has hosted athletics, Australian rules football, baseball, concerts, cricket, cycling, rugby league, rugby union, soccer and pony and greyhound racing. At present, it serves as the home ground for the Queensland Bulls in domestic cricket, the Brisbane Heat of the Big Bash League and Women's Big Bash League, and the Brisbane Lions of the Australian Football League.

Contents

Between 1993 and 2005, the Gabba was redeveloped in six stages at a cost of A$128,000,000. The dimensions of the playing field are now 170.6 metres (560 feet) (east-west) by 149.9 metres (492 feet) (north-south), to accommodate the playing of Australian rules football at elite level. The seating capacity of the ground was 42,000 in 2010, which has been reduced in recent times due to new electronic scoreboards and corporate facilities. [3] For international cricket matches, the capacity is reduced to 36,000 due to new scoreboards and the addition of a pool deck, as well as wider sight screens. [4] For AFL matches the capacity is slightly larger at 37,478. [5] [6]

History

The land on which the ground sits was set aside for use as a cricket ground in 1895 and the first match was held on the site on 19 December 1896, between Parliament and The Press. Prior to this, cricket was played at a ground in the area then known as Green Hills (beside Countess Street Petrie Terrace opposite the Victoria Barracks – now occupied by the Northern Busway), [7] since at least the early 1860s. [8]

Greyhound racing meetings were held during 1928 at the ground. [9]

The Gabba shared first-class cricket matches with the Exhibition Ground until 1931. The first Sheffield Shield match at the Gabba was scheduled to be played between 31 January 1931 and 4 February 1931, but it was washed out without a ball being bowled. The first Test match at the Gabba was played between Australia and South Africa between 27 November and 3 December 1931.

In 1972, a greyhound track was installed at The Gabba with night meetings held weekly at the ground for 21 years. [10]

From 1993, work commenced on turning The Gabba into a state of the art stadium. The last greyhound meeting was held at The Gabba on 5 February 1993 with work commencing shortly after to remove the greyhound track around the ground to accommodate the relocation of the Brisbane Bears from the Gold Coast to The Gabba, renovating the Sir Gordon Chalk Building to house the Bears Social Club and change rooms, refurbishing the Clem Jones stand as well as the construction of a new Western grandstand and extending the playing surface to cater for Australian Rules Football. The work was largely completed by 11 April when the Bears hosted their first AFL game at the renovated venue against the Melbourne Football Club in front of 12,821 spectators. [11] Subsequent further renovations at the ground saw the current two tier stands constructed in stages with the last stage completed in 2005 when the Brisbane Lions Social Club (formerly the Brisbane Bears Social Club) was demolished and replaced with a 24 bay grandstand spread over 3 levels of seating with the entire redevelopment costing $AU128 million. [12] In mid-2020 the Gabba began receiving a $35 million refurbishment of the stadium's media and corporate facilities, as well as entrances and spectator amenities. [13] The work was completed in October that year, shortly before the venue hosted the 2020 AFL Grand Final. [14]

2032 Summer Olympics

After Brisbane was chosen, in 2021, by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the preferred bidding city to host the 2032 Summer Olympics, the Queensland Government announced the Gabba would be the central venue used for the Games. The government has proposed demolishing the stadium's grandstands and foundations and rebuilding the Gabba with a new stadium in its place, which would seat 50,000 spectators. The cost of the proposal is approximately $1 billion. [15]

Sports played at the ground

Cricket

The Gabba in 1899 StateLibQld 1 15078 Woolloongabba Cricket Ground, 1899.jpg
The Gabba in 1899

The First Test between Australia and England is played nowadays at Brisbane. Nobody seems to know why, and all sorts of arguments are ventilated for and against more cricket Tests on the Woolloongabba ground. I am all in favour of robbing Queensland of its greatest cricketing occasion, for the ground depresses. It is not a cricket ground at all. It is a concentration camp! Wire fences abound. Spectators are herded and sorted out into lots as though for all the world this was a slave market and not a game of cricket. The stands are of wood and filthy to sit on. The dining rooms are barns, without a touch of colour or a picture on the wall. Everywhere there is dust and dirt...Forgive me if I am bitter about the Woolloongabba ground...the city has many good points, and the people who live there are generous and hospitable to the highest degree, but once one goes to the cricket ground the advantages are overwhelmingly lost in the mass of rules and regulations... [16] – John Kay, 1950–51 Ashes series

A cricket match between Australia and South Africa, December 2006 Australia vs South Africa.jpg
A cricket match between Australia and South Africa, December 2006

The Gabba is used from October to March for cricket and is home to the Queensland Cricket Association, the Queensland Cricketers Club and the Queensland Bulls cricket team. The venue usually hosts the first Test match of the season each November in addition to a number of international one-day matches usually held in January. The pitch is usually fast and bouncy.

The Gabba's amenities were greatly improved in the 1980s from a very basic standard, especially in comparison with the other Australian cricket grounds. Test cricket was first played at the ground in November 1931, the first Test of the series between Australia and South Africa. In December 1960, Test cricket's first-ever Tied Test took place at the ground when Richie Benaud's Australian team tied with Frank Worrell's West Indian side. Queensland clinched its first-ever Sheffield Shield title with victory over South Australia in the final at the ground in March 1995.

The Gabba was the first Australian venue to host an International Twenty20 cricket match. [17]

In November 1968 Colin Milburn scored 243, including 181 in the two-hour afternoon session, in a Sheffield Shield match for Western Australia vs. Queensland. [18]

For the first day of the first Test of the 2010–11 Ashes series between Australia and England, the Gabba was almost sold out. [19] Australia's Michael Clarke holds the record for number of runs scored in one Test innings at the Gabba with 259 not out, breaking the previous record set by Alastair Cook. [20]

Australia has a formidable test match record at the ground. In the 55 matches played at the ground, Australia has won 33, drawn 13, tied 1 and lost 9. The last loss came on 19 January 2021 against India in the 4th and final test of 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar trophy. [21] India became the first Asian team to win a Test match at the Gabba. [22] This was Australia's first loss at the Gabba in 29 matches, and 32 years. England have a notoriously poor record at The Gabba, and have only won two test matches at the ground since the end of the Second World War. Many of their defeats have been heavy [23] and only seven England players have scored centuries at the ground.

On 15 December 2016, Australia hosted Pakistan for the first day-night Test at the Gabba, [24] and the first Australian day-night Test hosted outside the Adelaide Oval.

Gabba ashes 24112006.jpg
Panorama of the Gabba on the 2nd day of the 2006–07 Ashes series

Australian rules football

Australian Football Premiership Finals at the Gabba, 1907 StateLibQld 1 71683 Australian Football Premiership Finals, Brisbane, Queensland, 1907.jpg
Australian Football Premiership Finals at the Gabba, 1907
An Australian Football Match at the Gabba in 2008. GabbaAFL16aug2008night.jpg
An Australian Football Match at the Gabba in 2008.
Brisbane Lions vs Sydney Swans at the Gabba looking east in 2019 The Eastern end of The Gabba at sunset during an AFL game.jpg
Brisbane Lions vs Sydney Swans at the Gabba looking east in 2019
The grave of David Newitt, who died from injuries received in a cycling race at the Gabba in 1922. David Thomas Newitt Grave.JPG
The grave of David Newitt, who died from injuries received in a cycling race at the Gabba in 1922.

The Gabba was the home ground for the Brisbane Bears from 1993 to 1996 and since 1997 has been the home of the Brisbane Lions AFL team. The record crowd for an Australian rules football match is 37,473 between the Brisbane Lions and Richmond in the 2019 second qualifying final. [25]

Australian football has a long association with the ground. The Queensland Football League, a precursor to AFL Queensland played matches at the Gabba from 1905 to 1914, 1959 to 1971, and in the late 1970s and early 1980s. AFLQ matches resumed in 1993 as curtain-raiser events to AFL games, along with occasional AFLQ Grand Finals.

Interstate games, including the 1961 national carnival have also been played there, as was a demonstration game during the 1982 Commonwealth Games. In 1991 the Gabba was host to Queensland's only victory over a Victorian side.

During the 2020 AFL season, the Gabba hosted a greater number of home and away matches than usual, due to the temporary relocation of Victorian and other clubs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The venue was also selected to host the 2020 AFL Grand Final, with the Melbourne Cricket Ground not capable of hosting any spectators at the match. The Gabba thus became the first stadium outside the state of Victoria to host a VFL/AFL Grand Final, which Richmond won against Geelong by 12.9 (81) to 7.8 (50) in front of 29,707 people – just under the venue's temporary maximum capacity due to the pandemic. [26] Previously, since the MCG began hosting VFL/AFL Grand Finals (VFL until 1989, AFL afterwards), only three other venues had done so: Princes Park (1942, 1943 and 1945), the St Kilda Cricket Ground (1944) and Waverley Park (1991).

Soccer

In the early 1900s, the Gabba hosted numerous matches between Australia and various touring nations. [27] During the 1950s and 1960s the Gabba hosted soccer matches for English first division and Scottish clubs including Blackpool FC, Everton FC, Manchester United and Heart of Midlothian F.C.. [28] The Chinese and South African national teams also played at the ground. During the 2000 Summer Olympics, the Gabba hosted association football group games. [29]

Rugby league

On 8 May 1909 the first match of rugby league was played in Brisbane at the Gabba. Norths played against Souths before a handful of spectators at the ground. [30] The Gabba hosted its first rugby league Test match on 26 June 1909, when Australia defeated New Zealand Māori 16–13. [31] The Kangaroos continued to play Tests at this venue until 1956, and a ground record crowd of 47,800 people saw Australia play Great Britain in 1954. From 1932 to 1959 the Gabba was also used to host interstate matches and International Rugby League Finals from 1909 – 2003.

Rugby league test matches

The Gabba hosted 11 rugby league test matches between 1912 and 1956. [32]

DateHome teamOpponentsResultAttendancePart of
14 August 1909Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Tino Rangatiratanga Maori sovereignty movement flag.svg  Māori 16–138,0001909 Māori tour
6 July 1912Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 13–108,000 1912 Trans-Tasman Test series
18 June 1932Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of the United Kingdom.svg The Lions 15–615,944 1932 Ashes series
4 July 1936Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of the United Kingdom.svg The Lions 7–1229,486 1936 Ashes series
12 June 1948Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 13–423,0141948 Trans-Tasman Test series
1 July 1950Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 15–335,0001950 Ashes series
30 June 1951Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of France.svg  France 23–1135,000 1951 French rugby league tour of Australia and New Zealand
28 June 1952Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 29–4529,2431952 Trans-Tasman Test series
9 July 1954Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 21–3846,3551954 Ashes series (All time Gabba attendance record)
2 July 1955Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of France.svg  France 28–2945,7451955 French rugby league tour of Australia and New Zealand [33]
23 June 1956Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 8–228,3611956 Trans-Tasman Test series

Rugby union

The Gabba has hosted six rugby union Test matches.

YearHome teamResultOpponentsCrowd
1907Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 5-14Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand not known
1914Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 0-17Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand not known
1950Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 6-19 British & Irish Lions not known
1951Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 6-16Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand not known
2001Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 13-29 British & Irish Lions 37,460
2002Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 38–27Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 37,258

2000 Olympic Games

The Gabba hosted seven games of the 2000 Olympic Games Men's Football tournament including a Quarter final match.

DateTime (AEST)Team #1ResultTeam #2RoundAttendance
13 September 200019:00Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon 3–2Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait Group C26,730
14 September 200019:00Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 3–1Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia Group D24,616
16 September 200019:00Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 2–3Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait Group C22,182
17 September 200019:00Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 1–3Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa Group D36,326
19 September 200019:00Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 1–1Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon Group C23,442
20 September 200019:00Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 1–0Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Group D36,608
23 September 200019:00Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 1–2 (a.e.t.)Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon Quarter final 237,332

Greyhound racing

Greyhound racing was also conducted at the Gabba prior to the redevelopment. [34] Meetings were held during 1928 and again from 1972 until 1993. [35]

Awards

In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, the Gabba was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for its role as a "structure and engineering feat". [36]

Largest crowds at the Gabba

SportDateCrowdEvent
Concerts4-5 March 2017130,000 Adele Live 2017
Rugby9 July 195446,355 Ashes Australia vs Great Britain
International cricket15 January 200638,894 2006 KFC T20I: Australia vs South Africa
Australian rules football7 September 201937,478 2019 AFL Qualifying Final: Brisbane Lions vs Richmond
Rugby union30 June 200137,460 2001 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia: British & Irish Lions vs Australia
Soccer23 September 200037,332 2000 Olympic Football (men's) Brazil vs Cameroon
Domestic cricket (Big Bash League)5 January 201835,564 2017–18 BBL Season: Brisbane Heat vs Perth Scorchers

VFL/AFL records

Players

Teams

Last updated: 19 May 2015. [37]

See also

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