Brisbane is in the box seat to secure the 2032 Olympic Games after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) accepted recommendations to install South East Queensland as its preferred candidate.
A final decision is expected to be made as early as July, ahead of Tokyo 2021, and if Brisbane is selected, it will be the first Olympics Games to be hosted in Oceania in over 30 years.
Here’s what the proposed Olympics will look like.
What will the Olympics be called?
Given this bid incorporates South East Queensland, as well as other parts of the state and even potentially other cities in Australia, just exactly what will this Olympics be referred to as — Brisbane 2032, South East Queensland 2032, Queensland 2032?
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state government was working through that at the moment with the IOC.
Where will the athletes stay?
According to the IOC’s feasibility assessment for Brisbane, there will be two athletes’ villages — one in Brisbane and one on the Gold Coast — as well as a day village on the Sunshine Coast.
Brisbane will build a new village, labelled as Queensland’s ‘largest waterfront urban renewal project’, at Albion and the riverside in the city’s inner north, which would sleep up to 14,000 athletes.
The Gold Coast will contribute 2,000 beds with existing hotels in Surfers Paradise, as well as other hotels on the Gold Coast for team officials.
How many venues will there be?
In total, there’ll be 31 venues, excluding preliminary final venues. Here’s how they’re broken down across the south-east:
- Brisbane – 21 venues
- Gold Coast – 6 venues
- Sunshine Coast – 3 venues
Ms Palaszczuk said 85 per cent of these were existing venues.
“The Olympic committee are looking for existing structures,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It’s a new norm, which means it’s a game changer — we don’t have to build new stadiums that are not going to be used in the future.”
Of the 31 venues, 19 are existing, but five of them will need permanent works, while five will be temporary and seven will be new sites.
Will any cities, outside SEQ, be involved?
The Whitsundays in north Queensland are being considered as the host venue for sailing, while several other regional boutique stadiums will be used for preliminary football matches.
Ipswich, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast stadiums will all be used, while Toowoomba, Townsville and Cairns, as well as Sydney and Melbourne, are being considered as host venues.
Each venue will need to have a capacity of 20,000 spectators, so some stadiums will need upgrades, including Barlow Park in Cairns and Toowoomba Sports Ground.
The IOC has also recommended using the existing Sydney International Regatta Centre, which was built for the 2000 Olympics, as a venue for rowing or canoe (sprint).
The existing Penrith Whitewater Stadium in Sydney has also been proposed for the canoe (slalom) event.
“We want to make sure this is inclusive of Queensland and that we all have a part of history here,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Where will the opening and closing ceremonies be held?
There are several options for the opening and closing ceremonies, including a new Brisbane Olympic Stadium that could seat up to 50,000 people at the Albion Park Raceway in Brisbane’s inner north.
However, the IOC has recommended considering the existing Carrara Stadium (40,000) on the Gold Coast for athletics events and using the Gabba in Brisbane for ceremonies (40,000).
Carrara Stadium is a proven facility after it was used for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies, as well as track and field events.
“We will be looking at all of those in detail now, but there is the option of one new big venue … but we may use Carrara as well,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“But let’s have those discussions — we’ve not got to go down to the fine print.”
Which facility will host swimming?
One of the Olympics biggest drawcards could be hosted in the heart of Brisbane city, with a new 15,000 capacity indoor arena being considered.
This site would be located at the Roma Street Parklands and would also host water polo.
But the IOC has flagged potentially using the existing outdoor Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, which seated up to 10,000 people during the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
What dates will the Olympics run?
- Olympics — 23 July to 8 August 2032
- Paralympics – 24 August to 5 September 2032
This is based on Queensland’s climate and school holidays scheduling.
If these dates are used, it would mean there’s a 16-day break between the Olympics and Paralympics.
How much will the Olympics cost, and how much will the games benefit Queensland?
Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates said the operational costs of the 2032 Games would break even.
“The IOC on a budget of $4.5 billion (AUD), the IOC is putting in $2.5 billion … then you get approximately $1 billion from national sponsorship and $1 billion from the ticketing,” Mr Coates said.
“That’s enough then to pay for both the Olympics and Paralympic Games without any call on the state, or federal or local governments.”
The state’s 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Taskforce found the games could create around 130,000 direct jobs and tens of thousands of indirect jobs, particularly in tourism.
In its Value Proposition Assessment, it estimated the economic benefits of the games for Queensland at around $7.4 billion, with “social and community benefits” lasting potentially two decades.
What will it take for Brisbane to be confirmed as the host city?
Mr Coates said Queensland’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis and the success of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast had both helped Brisbane’s case.
He said targeted discussions and studies must take place before South East Queensland could be declared the sole candidate and the IOC membership votes.
“That will all be done by the end of April-early May, and that could go to a vote in Tokyo,” Mr Coates said.
“If that is put to a vote — we need 50 per cent — I think I can get those numbers.”
It is also the first time the International Olympic Committee has shown interest in a region, rather than a single city.
What events will each city host?
- Aquatics – Swimming, Water Polo, Diving, Artistic Swimming, Water Polo
- Basketball (Including 3×3)
- Canoe (Sprint/Slalom)
- Cycling – Track, BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle
- Equestrian (Including Cross Country)
- Modern Pentathlon
- Sailing Tennis
- Table Tennis
- Aquatics (Marathon)
- Beach Volleyball
- Athletics (Race Walk)
- Cycling — Road Marathon, Mountain Bike
- Sailing (Kiteboarding)