Brisbane 2032: Games would be great for growth
SOUTHEAST Queensland has a "compelling'' case to mount a bid for the 2032 Olympic Games, a detailed 18-month study has concluded.
A feasibility report commissioned by the SEQ Council of Mayors found the Olympics and Paralympics could be staged across the region at a lower cost to the public than last year's Commonwealth Games by using existing and already-planned venues.
"I think it's an outstanding opportunity for the region," Brisbane Lord Mayor and SEQ Council of Mayors chairman Graham Quirk said.
"The study shows that the Games are certainly doable. If we work on a spread of facilities around the region, these Games would deliver a terrific legacy."
But the report, to be released today, stresses that the success of an Olympics would rest on billions of dollars of public transport and road infrastructure being delivered in advance, and that without it, a bid should be abandoned.
The Mayors will now lobby the state and federal governments and Australian Olympic Committee to get behind the push to bring the world's biggest sporting event here.
Cr Quirk said they would ask the Queensland Government to fund a full assessment of the economic benefits the event could generate.
The boost from the 2000 Sydney Olympics has been put at $20 billion.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was looking forward to reading the proposal.
"As I have said, it needs support of all levels of government. The federal government would need to supply their funding upfront. Venues would have to be smaller and it can't just be a SEQ games - it has to be a Queensland games."
The study, prepared by specialist international sports consultants Lagardere/Event Knowledge Services, indicates the Games would cost $5.3 billion to stage.
After $4.4 billion of revenue from global broadcast rights, worldwide and domestic sponsorships, merchandise and the sale of six million tickets, the net loss is estimated at $900 million - $400 million for the Olympics and $500 million for the Paralympics.
"When compared to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, which had a net operating cost of $1.2 billion, a cost-effective SEQ Olympic Games presented a compelling proposal for the region given the widespread benefits, international exposure and lasting legacies it could deliver," the study reads.
The study was based on new International Olympic Committee guidelines designed to minimise the financial burden on host cities by not building major new facilities just for the event, leaving expensive white elephants afterwards.
It says 25 of the 40 sports venues required already exist and could be used as they are or with some upgrades.
Another 11 are already planned, or a future need has been identified. They include the main Olympic Stadium. After the Games, temporary seating would be removed to reduce its capacity from 55,000 or 60,000 to a 25,000 to 30,000-seat rectangular football stadium which authorities agree will be needed to supplement Suncorp Stadium in the future.
The $2 billion Brisbane Live precinct above Roma Street Station, which will include a 17,000-seat indoor arena suited to several sports such as basketball and gymnastics, is also in that category.
The rest would be temporary facilities for sports such as beach volleyball, with the cost built into the operating budget.
Specific venues have not been identified in the report, but the Games would be spread across southeast Queensland. Brisbane would hold the opening and closing ceremonies, track and field and main swimming competition.
The Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands and Toowoomba would all host events. It is expected preliminary soccer rounds would also be staged at the new Townsville Stadium and that other areas would be used by various national teams as their training bases in the lead-up.
The 10,500 competitors would be housed in a main athletes' village to be built in Brisbane, with satellite accommodation hubs on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. A main media centre would be based in the capital, along with a media village to house the thousands of broadcasters and journalists.
"With an efficient and reliable transport network, the average athlete travel time to competition venues for an SEQ Olympic Games would be around 19 minutes," Cr Quirk said. "This is on par with previous Games and ensures our regional approach would not detract from the competitiveness of a potential bid."
The feasibility report was commissioned to see if a successful Olympic bid could be used to bring forward infrastructure such as a rapid rail network across the region, needed as the population swells from 3.5 million to 5.5 million over the next quarter of a century.
"Without the transport expenditure, it's no deal on the Olympics and it's a disaster for southeast Queensland in not keeping pace with our population growth," Cr Quirk said.
Preparing a southeast Queensland Olympic bid was one of the top action plan points to emerge from The Courier-Mail's recent Future SEQ campaign series investigating the challenges and opportunities facing the booming area.
Our next generation of superstar athletes have thrown their weight behind a Brisbane bid for the 2032 Olympic Games. Sprinter Riley Day and swimmer Ariarne Titmus announced themselves on the world stage at last year's Commonwealth Games and are daring to dream of performing in front of home crowds again.
Day said it would be amazing to race in front of Queensland crowds at an Olympic Games.
"Any time you get to compete in front of home crowds is awesome, but for it to be an Olympics would be incredible," she said.
Additional reporting Jeremy Pierce, Sophie Chirgwin