Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre
View of a stadium's exterior, with its support columns and seating bowl visible
Exterior of the main stadium from Kessels Road, photographed in November 2009
Map
Former namesQueen Elizabeth II Jubilee Sports Centre (1977–1993)
Location
Coordinates27°33′30″S 153°3′44″E / 27.55833°S 153.06222°E / -27.55833; 153.06222
OwnerQueensland Government
OperatorStadiums Queensland
Capacity
  • 48,500 (main stadium)
  • 2,100 (State Athletics Facility)
Record attendance58,912 (1997 Super League Grand Final)
Opened1975
Tenants

The Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC /ˈkjzæk/ KEW-zak, formerly known as the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Sports Centre) is a multi-purpose sports facility in Nathan, Queensland, located 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) south-east of the Brisbane CBD. Its main stadium – formerly known as QEII Stadium, and later ANZ Stadium under a naming rights agreement with ANZ – accommodates 48,500 spectators, while its smaller State Athletics Facility accommodates 2,100 spectators. Both stadiums feature Rekortan running tracks and natural grass fields. The Queensland Academy of Sport, Queensland State Netball Centre, and a complex of beach volleyball courts are also housed at the facility. QSAC is owned by the Queensland Government, and its main stadium and State Athletics Facility are operated through its agency, Stadiums Queensland.

As a track and field venue, the main stadium hosted competitions at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, 2001 Goodwill Games, and eleven editions of the Australian Athletics Championships; most recently its 2022–23 edition. It is currently planned to be renovated to host competitions at the 2032 Summer Olympics. As a rugby league venue, the main stadium was home to the Brisbane Broncos from 1993 to 2003, when the club left Lang Park and subsequently returned following its redevelopment. During this tenure, it hosted the 1994 World Club Challenge and the only Super League Grand Final in 1997, amid the Super League war. The main stadium has also hosted numerous concerts, occasional soccer matches, and a semi-final of the 1999 Davis Cup in tennis.

History

The facility opened in 1975, providing a synthetic running track for athletics competitions that was unaffected by wet weather, the first in Queensland. It was officially named Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Sports Centre by the Queen in 1977 to mark her Silver Jubilee.[1] It was constructed in close proximity to both the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Hospital and Griffith University campus, which provided athlete accommodation.

Originally, the section of the stadium covered by roofing was intended to be the only permanent seating facility. The remainder of the stadium seating was built as "temporary" seating and was intended to be removed after the Commonwealth Games had finished. Public opinion resulted in the unroofed temporary seating being retained as permanent.[citation needed]

The stadium was named ANZ Stadium from 1993 to 2003 when it was the home of the Brisbane Broncos rugby league football team. The stadium currently has a capacity of 48,500 people,[2][3][4] although the record crowd is 58,912, set during the 1997 Super League Grand Final which saw the Broncos defeat the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 26–8.[5] The capacity can be increased to 60,000 with the use of extra temporary seating in front of the Eastern and Western grandstands. These were removed when the running track was relaid for the 2001 Goodwill Games.

In 1999, ANZ Stadium hosted eventual champions Australia in their Davis Cup Semi-Final win over Russia 4–1. Temporary grass courts were erected up one end of the field and temporary stands on 3 sides. The crowd capacity for this event was 10, 600. 1999 Australian Open Champion and Russian Davis Cup player Yevgeny Kafelnikov described the court "like playing on a potato field" and "that court is just not acceptable for this kind of event."[6]

In 2002, ownership transferred to the Queensland Government Major Sports Facilities Authority[7] and the venue was given its present name.

While the athletics facilities are well utilised, the stands at the stadium have largely stood empty and unused[8] since the Broncos returned to a redeveloped Lang Park in 2003.[9]

Crowd gathering for the Pearl Jam show being played at the QSAC on 25 November 2009

The stadium has hosted a number of events, including:

The stadium is still actively used by athletes at a local, State and National level. Many local clubs such as Thompson Estate and Eastern Suburbs Athletics[13] use it regularly for training.

The stadium has also permitted students of the neighbouring Griffith University (Nathan campus) to use its expansive carpark, free of charge. This is due to the relatively low availability of parking as well as the cost of parking on the campus (there is no free parking). Students who don't mind the ten-minute walk from the stadium take advantage of the large carpark.

In April 2023, a Right to Information application by Brisbane Times revealed plans for QSAC to be modified to become a temporary home for the Brisbane Lions AFL club while their home stadium, the Gabba, is demolished and rebuilt for the 2032 Summer Olympics.[14]

It is planned that the athletics events at the 2032 Brisbane Olympics will be held at the stadium.[15]

Notable Rugby League Games

Date Result Attendance Notes
28 March 1993 Parramatta Eels def. Brisbane Broncos 12–8 51,517 1993 NSWRL season Rd.3
Brisbane Broncos first game at ANZ Stadium
27 August 1993 St George Dragons def. Brisbane Broncos 16–10 58,593 1993 NSWRL season Rd.22
Brisbane Broncos all-time minor round home attendance record
1 June 1994 Wigan def. Brisbane Broncos 20–14 54,220 1994 World Club Challenge
World Club Challenge attendance record
19 May 1997 New South Wales def. Queensland 23–22 (gp) 35,570 Super League Tri-series Final
Longest professional rugby league game in history (104 minutes)
20 September 1997 Brisbane Broncos def. Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 26–8 58,912 1997 Super League Grand Final
Brisbane Broncos all-time home attendance record
1 July 2001 Queensland def. New South Wales 40–14 49,441 2001 State of Origin series Game III
This match was notable as Allan Langer made his Origin comeback, despite playing for Warrington Wolves in the Super League at the time, inspiring the Maroons to a series-deciding victory on home soil.[16]
5 June 2002 Queensland def. New South Wales 26–18 47,989 2002 State of Origin series Game II
This was notably Justin Hodges' debut match for Queensland. Despite two in-goal blunders, the Maroons won the match.[17]
18 May 2003 Brisbane Broncos def. Melbourne Storm 36–16 15,867 2003 NRL season Rd.10
Brisbane Broncos last game at ANZ Stadium

See also

References

  1. ^ Stadiums Queensland – History Archived 20 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "QSAC - Frequently Asked Questions". Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Queensland Sport and Athletic Centre". Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  4. ^ "About Us". Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  5. ^ 1997 Super League Grand Final
  6. ^ Whyte, Derrick (24 September 1999). "Tennis: Kafelnikov angered by 'pathetic' grass court". The Independent. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  7. ^ Stadiums Queensland Archived 20 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Atfield, Cameron Atfield, Cameron (3 October 2014). "Brisbane's Commonwealth Games stadium gathers dust". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 21 November 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Atfield, Cameron (24 November 2009). "Is there life in the white elephant yet?". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre". Athletics Track Directory. 22 April 2020.
  11. ^ Branco, Jorge (7 February 2017). "Guns N' Roses review: Axl brings originals to Brisbane". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  12. ^ Church, Michael (20 November 2018). "Koreans brush aside Uzbekistan in Brisbane friendly". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  13. ^ Thompson Estate and Eastern Suburbs Athletics, Brisbane athletics and cross-country running club.
  14. ^ Atfield, Cameron (20 April 2023). "Revealed: How the former home of the Broncos can become the Lions' den". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
  15. ^ "Lang Park will be the centrepiece of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, along with changes to other venues". ABC News (Australia). 18 March 2024.
  16. ^ Paine, Chris (1 May 2020). "'I won't let my state down': Inside the secret 'MI6-grade' mission to deliver all-time Origin comeback". Fox Sports. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  17. ^ "Hodges laments Origin debut". Special Broadcasting Service. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2020.