Brisbane CEO Greg Swann says Lions would welcome new Victoria Park stadium for 2032 Olympic Games

The Brisbane Lions have checked their hopes of having the Gabba knocked down and rebuilt in time for the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games.

Olympic organisers are now exploring the option of building a 70,000-seat stadium at Victoria Park, under which proposal the Lions would then assume primary tenancy of the stadium after the Olympic Games.

As is the current agreement at the Gabba, the AFL club would also share the stadium with international, Sheffield Shield, BBL and WBBL cricket.

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But that would mean the Gabba misses out on the much-needed facelift that has been mooted for the stadium for many years.

Instead, the Lions would call the new 90ha sporting and events venue precinct home.

“We think it looks fantastic,” Lions CEO Greg Swann said of the Victoria Park proposal.

“It covers off a whole lot of stuff. Obviously, the focus is the stadium for us, but the way that proposal flows, there’s education facilities, there’s hospitals, there’s green space — it just looks something that you’d like to think governments of all persuasions will chase it to ground.

“We’re lucky enough to go and see other stadiums; we’ve seen what Perth Stadium’s done, what happens in Adelaide — those brand new stadiums bring people to the city, (it’s) great for tourism.

The Gabba is a massive advantage for the Brisbane Lions. Credit: Russell Freeman/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

“This place (Brisbane) is growing. In 20 years’ time, we’ll have four million people.

“I know it’s easy to say, ‘Why are you spending money on a stadium?’, but every big city has stadiums, hospitals, schools — there’s a place for everything.

“We think that proposal really suits us — us and cricket primarily, and the Olympics. But I think from a legacy point of view, that whole development and that whole proposal certainly looks like it should be considered by those in authority.”

Swann said there would be no need for a Gabba upgrade if the new stadium got the green light.

“It depends; if that was to come on board, a brand new stadium at Vic Park would be good, and then I think under that proposal, this (the Gabba) would be turned back into green space,” he added.

“I think all the stadium would come down and they’d have an oval, a bit like (what) they’ve done at Subiaco Oval, where they’ve knocked all the grandstand down and it’s for the community.”

Greg Swann says the Gabba still needs an upgrade. Credit: Brisbane Lions

But if it doesn’t get up, and Olympic organisers settle on a new plan, Swann said the Gabba is crying out for an upgrade in some form at least.

“If that doesn’t go ahead, then yeah, we would like to see the Gabba get a bit of a lick of paint and a bit of an upgrade,” Swann said.

“It certainly looks like it’s (the Gabba) not going to get knocked over now.

“It’s a hard one in a way because one of the things that the boys talk about is that this place really rocks when it’s full.

“It’s a great atmosphere and it’s a great place to watch footy. The crowd is almost like a 24th man for us.

“We’d like it to get a bit of a lick of paint and a bit of an upgrade, but we don’t want it to lose its characteristics.

“It is a great facility for when you come here. All the sight lines are really good.”

The Lions have had their interviews with the panel leading the charge on the Olympic plans, led by Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, who are set to release their findings on March 18.

“Everybody’s sort of waiting for that,” Swann said.

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