MELBOURNE, 1 June: A $35 million upgrade for the Brisbane Cricket Ground has been backed by confirmation that the First Test of the 2021 Ashes series will be held at the Gabba.
Cricket Australia and Queensland Cricket today welcomed the Queensland Government’s announcement that this month’s State Budget would include funding to upgrade public, corporate and media facilities in the stadium.
Included in the upgrade will be improvements to enhance the experiences of fans attending cricket matches at the venue, with these set to be implemented in time for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia 2020.
Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts confirmed the first Test of the 2021 Ashes series would be held at the upgraded Gabba.
“Nothing excites Australian cricket fans like an Ashes series on home soil and the upgrades to the Gabba will ensure that in hosting the first test of the Ashes series in 2021-22, fans in Queensland will get the first opportunity to enjoy world-class cricket while experiencing the upgraded facilities,’’ he said.
“We thank the Queensland Government, led by Premier Palaszczuk and Minister de Brenni, for its support and ongoing collaboration to deliver these important improvements ensuring that Cricket continues to unite and inspire Queensland communities,’’ he said.
Queensland Cricket Chief Executive Officer Max Walters welcomed today’s announcement.
“The Gabba receiving stage one upgrades is fantastic news for Queensland Cricket and all cricket fans across the State,” he said.
“Our recent discussions with the State Government on the future of the ground have been extremely positive, and we thank Minister de Brenni for sharing in our vision of ensuring the Gabba remains one of Australia’s premier stadiums.
Walters said confirmation the Gabba would host the first Test of the 2021 Ashes series delivered certainty for fans and would heighten cricket’s appeal as well as deliver an economic boost.
“Australian Cricket has worked closely with the Queensland Government to advance the redevelopment of the Gabba, which will not only foster cricket’s growth in Queensland but also deliver a range of economic benefits to the state,’’ he said.
“There is intrinsic value in the first Test of the season and studies have shown that past Ashes encounters have injected significant uplift to the local economy to the tune of $36 million,’’ he said.
The post-event study completed by consultancy firm IER Pty Ltd has found the 2017-18 Ashes Summer of Cricket generated $36.5m in spending to Queensland’s economy, $34.3m of which was achieved from November’s opening Ashes Test of the series at the Gabba.
130,665 fans witnessed Australia record a resounding victory over England at the Gabba across four days of the Test, the first three of which were sold out, while 29,683 fans watched the two countries play a One-Day International in January.
The study showed that the 2017-18 Ashes Summer of Cricket brought in 22,727 visitors to Queensland, accounting for a total of 82,010 visitor nights, 29,928 of which were from overseas guests.
The Gabba will host the opening Domain Test of this summer against Pakistan from 21 November, with points in the forthcoming ICC Test Championship up for grabs for the first time on Australian soil.
Australia’s record at the Gabba currently sits at 30 Tests unbeaten since 1988, the longest active streak in world cricket.
Source: Cricket Australia.