Brisbane scores as the city fires up for a stellar line-up of sporting events
Updated: 2 December 2020
All eyes are on Brisbane’s sporting calendar, with a non-stop schedule of new and returning events that will set pulses racing.
The string of high-profile sporting events are expected to attract visitors in droves and once again demonstrate that Brisbane’s approach to major events is world class.
The success of the AFL Grand Final at The Gabba established Brisbane as Australia’s new home of sports and entertainment, and drove strong patronage to venues across the city.
And now it’s game on for the city’s economic recovery. From international blockbusters to community-driven celebrations, from the CBD to the suburbs, Brisbane will host a huge haul of free and ticketed events that Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner says will showcase the spirit of the city and give much-needed boosts to local traders.
“Thanks to the hard work of everyone across the city, Brisbane is the envy of Australia,” Cr Schrinner says.
“Council has been working closely with the Brisbane Economic Development Agency and our partners to put together a fantastic line-up of events to see out the year that will offer something for everyone.”
Here’s just a taste of what’s in store for Brisbane…
Brisbane’s Summer of Racing
Giddy up for trackside action with Brisbane’s Summer of Racing at the Brisbane Racing Club.
The club will host seven days of equine racing thrills at the Doomben and Eagle Farm racecourses, beginning with the Tattersall's Thank the Heroes Raceday on Saturday 28 November, and continuing with the TAB George Moore Stakes Raceday (Saturday 5 December), Christmas Twilight Raceday (Friday 11 December), Roku Gin The Gateway Raceday (Saturday 12 December), Summer Fun Raceday (Saturday 19 December), Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stakes Raceday (Saturday 26 December) and Road to Magic Millions Raceday (Saturday 2 January).
From luxe experiences to relaxed and casual fun, Brisbane’s Summer of Racing has something for everyone – so get the girls, the boys or the office together and prepare to enjoy a sensory experience of flavours, entertainment and the best summer racing in the country.
Australia will put its 31-match winning streak at The Gabba on the line when India comes to town from 15 January 2021. Brisbane will host the fourth and final Vodafone Test of the summer, with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy potentially up for grabs.
With the match taking place during the school holidays, attendance at The Gabba should be strong, and the competition will be intense – Australia is currently ranked on top of the International Cricket Council’s Test standings, but India has won three of the previous four series against Australia, including a shock win on Australian soil in 2018-19.
Brisbane Cycling Festival
After being cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2020, Australia’s biggest multi-disciplinary cycling festival will ride back into the celebrated Anna Meares Velodrome – and other venues around Brisbane – early next year.
The three-week program will seek to capitalise on the surge in cycling participation and popularity in the wake of the coronavirus, with the Brisbane Showgrounds in Bowen Hills set to host an active lifestyle expo, markets and entertainment for all ages in an all-new Festival Village. Get on your bike from 24 March to 12 April 2021.
Australian Youth Water Polo Championships
Launched in Brisbane in 2019, the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships quickly became the hallmark event on the national water polo calendar, attracting 190 teams and 3,000 competitors from across the country.
Now the largest annual water polo festival in the southern hemisphere, the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships will return to the Brisbane Aquatic Centre in Chandler from 7-17 April 2021.
Brisbane Lions v Collingwood FC
After winning rave reviews for hosting the AFL Grand Final in 2020, Brisbane will host one of the early highlights of the next AFL season.
While the fixture has not been officially announced at the time of writing, The Gabba is expected to once again host the marquee Easter Thursday clash between the Brisbane Lions and the Collingwood Magpies in April 2021.
NRL Magic Round
The NRL’s marquee round attracted almost 135,000 fans in 2019, but it was taken off this year’s calendar due to the coronavirus. The NRL has confirmed the Magic Round will return to Brisbane in 2021, with every team in the league converging on Suncorp Stadium for one massive weekend (dates TBC).
Brisbane Marathon Festival
Brisbane’s massive lineup of sporting events isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon – sometimes literally. The Brisbane Marathon Festival, one of Australia’s premier marathon events, will return to the city on 6 June 2021, with 42.2km, 21.1km, 10km, 5km and 2km races available for competitors of all ages and abilities.
Nitro World Games
The world’s hottest action sports stars – including freestyle motocross, BMX, skateboarding and scooter competitors – will battle for championship honours and attempt to break world records when the Nitro World Games makes its Australian debut at Suncorp Stadium from 23-24 October 2021.
Produced by Nitro Circus in partnership with the Brisbane Economic Development Agency and Tourism and Events Queensland, the event will push the boundaries of big air, with bold new course designs inspiring athletes to attempt tricks that have never been seen before.
“Staging exclusive major events such as the Nitro World Games is a part of our plan to drive Brisbane’s economic recovery,” Cr Schrinner says.
“The event will broadcast Brisbane to global audiences and attract thousands of visitors to support local jobs across our tourism, accommodation, hospitality, retail and service sectors.
“We can’t wait for the world’s action sport athletes and fans to discover why Brisbane is the urban adventure capital of Australia.”
Australian PGA Championship
Australia’s flagship golf tournament will return to Brisbane in December 2021, with dates to be confirmed. Recent champions include Adam Scott, Cameron Smith, Greg Chalmers, Peter Senior and Geoff Ogilvy, so you can expect a star-studded lineup of the country’s best players to be swinging for the Joe Kirkwood Cup at the Royal Queensland Golf Club in Eagle Farm.
Attendance at all Brisbane venues and events is guided by the Queensland Government’s COVID-19 business compliance regulations and social distancing protocols. For more information, please contact individual venues or event organisers.