Brisbane’s sporting venues
Brisbane loves to put on a show. From global sporting events that attract tens of thousands of people, to a country-comes-to-the-city show, and international pop tours, Brisbane is experienced in welcoming revellers to the city.
The region’s effective handling of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that even throughout the end of 2020 and 2021, Brisbane has been able to continue to host public events.
This included the State of Origin in November 2020, a rugby league local derby between Queensland and New South Wales, which was the largest major event worldwide since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Brisbane’s facilities are world-class. They span from suburban grounds to international stadiums. The one thing they do share is the Australian love of events – especially sporting events – and their ability to attract spectators.
Here are some of the major event venues for which Brisbane and the region are known.
The Gabba is regarded by cricket fans as one of the best pitches in the world.
Located in Brisbane’s inner southern suburb of Woolloongabba – hence “the Gabba” – it started as a local venue in 1895 and has been developed into a 42,000-capacity stadium.
It is the traditional home of Test Cricket in Queensland and usually hosts the first test of the season. Loved by the Australian fans, the local team has an enviable record of wins on the pitch that has earned The Gabba the moniker, “the gabbattoir”.
As well as being the home ground for Brisbane teams in the Australian Football League (AFL) and cricket, it has also hosted major events for other sports. These have included baseball, rugby league, rugby union and football for the 2000 Olympics.
The Gabba has also been host to global music touring events, including global superstar Adele in 2017 that attracted 60,000 people.
Its design offers those in the stands a clear view of the pitch.
Suncorp Stadium, previously known as Lang Park, has been used as an event and sporting venue for over a century.
It is Brisbane’s “home of rugby league” – one of Australia’s most high-profile sports – and transforms regularly for other sporting fixtures or concert tours.
Six bronze statues of Queensland’s sporting legends watch over the entrance.
With a seated capacity of about 52,500, it hosts major Australian sporting events, including the 2015 AFC Asian Cup football and the WBO welterweight title fight.
It hosts rugby union’s Bledisloe Cup between the Wallabies and All Blacks, and has been the cauldron of many major tests during the Rugby World Cup.
The venue has also hosted international music tours with Robbie Williams, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Coldplay, U2 and Paul McCartney in a range of configurations.
Major events at the stadium inevitably bring large crowds to the adjoining street, Caxton Street, where a range of bar, pubs and clubs are among the city’s most well-loved venues.
It was to Caxton Street that German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited a pub for a beer when she was in town for the G20 event in 2014.
The Brisbane Showgrounds offer a precinct of venues with outdoor and indoor spaces.
It has hosted the Ekka, the annual Royal Queensland Show for 143 years, barring closures for COVID-19 in 2020, war service in 1943 and the Spanish flu in 1919.
The precinct has a series of heritage buildings that were transformed throughout the 2010s with a major development that also developed a high-rise hotel, a high street, and residential.
Sporting events for equestrian and other outdoor concerts are regularly held at the Brisbane Showgrounds.