Brisbane Cricket Ground
The Gabba
The Gabba 2017 logo.png
The Gabba Panorama.jpg
Ground information
LocationWoolloongabba, Queensland, Australia
Coordinates27°29′9″S 153°2′17″E / 27.48583°S 153.03806°E / -27.48583; 153.03806Coordinates: 27°29′9″S 153°2′17″E / 27.48583°S 153.03806°E / -27.48583; 153.03806
Establishment1895
Capacity41,974[1]
36,000 (international cricket)
39,202 (Australian football)
50,000 (2032 Olympic games)
OwnerQueensland Government
OperatorStadiums Queensland
TenantsQueensland Bulls
Brisbane Lions (AFL)
Brisbane Heat (BBL) & (WBBL)
End names
Stanley Street End (south)
Vulture Street End (north)
International information
First Test27 November – 3 December 1931:
 Australia v  South Africa
Last Test8–12 December 2021:
 Australia v  England
First ODI23 December 1979:
 England v  West Indies
Last ODI19 January 2018:
 Australia v  England
First T20I9 January 2006:
 Australia v  South Africa
Last T20I30 October 2019:
 Australia v  Sri Lanka
First women's Test1–5 January 1985:
 Australia v  England
Last women's Test15–19 February 2003:
 Australia v  England
First WODI16 January 1993:
 Australia v  New Zealand
Last WODI8 February 1999:
 Australia v  South Africa
Team information
Queensland Bulls (1931–present)
Brisbane Bears (AFL) (1991, 1993–1996)
Brisbane Lions (AFL) (1997–present)
Gold Coast Suns (AFL) (2011, 2018)
Brisbane Heat (BBL) (2011–present)
Brisbane Heat (WBBL) (2015–present)
Brisbane Broncos (NRL) (2023)
As of 8 December 2021
Source: ESPN Cricinfo

The Brisbane Cricket Ground, commonly known as the Gabba,[2][3] is a major sports stadium in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, Australia. The nickname Gabba derives from the suburb of Woolloongabba, in which it is located. Over the years, the Gabba has hosted athletics, Australian rules football, baseball, concerts, cricket, cycling, rugby league, rugby union, Association football and pony and greyhound racing. At present, it serves as the home ground for the Queensland Bulls in domestic cricket, the Brisbane Heat of the Big Bash League and Women's Big Bash League, and the Brisbane Lions of the Australian Football League. The Gabba will be the centrepiece of the 2032 Summer Olympics and will be upgraded for the games.

Between 1993 and 2005, the Gabba was redeveloped in six stages at a cost of A$128,000,000. The dimensions of the playing field are now 170.6 metres (560 feet) (east-west) by 149.9 metres (492 feet) (north-south), to accommodate the playing of Australian rules football at elite level. The seating capacity of the ground was 42,000 in 2010, which has been reduced in recent times due to new electronic scoreboards and corporate facilities.[4] For international cricket matches, the capacity is reduced to 36,000 due to new scoreboards and the addition of a pool deck, as well as wider sight screens.[5] For AFL matches the capacity is slightly larger at 37,478.[6][7] The capacity will increase to 50,000 for the 2032 Olympics.[8]

History

Foundation

The Gabba in 1899
The Gabba in 1899

The land on which the ground sits was set aside for use as a cricket ground in 1895 and the first match was held on the site on 19 December 1896, between Parliament and The Press. Prior to this, cricket was played at a ground in the area then known as Green Hills (beside Countess Street Petrie Terrace opposite the Victoria Barracks – now occupied by the Northern Busway),[9] since at least the early 1860s.[10]

Greyhound racing meetings were held during 1928 at the ground.[11]

The Gabba shared first-class cricket matches with the Exhibition Ground until 1931. The first Sheffield Shield match at the Gabba was scheduled to be played between 31 January 1931 and 4 February 1931, but it was washed out without a ball being bowled. The first Test match at the Gabba was played between Australia and South Africa between 27 November and 3 December 1931.

In 1972, a greyhound track was installed at The Gabba with night meetings held weekly at the ground for 21 years.[12]

The Gabba in the 1980s prior to redevelopment
The Gabba in the 1980s prior to redevelopment

Expansion

From February 1993, work commenced on turning The Gabba into an all-seater stadium. The last greyhound meeting was held at The Gabba on 5 February 1993, with work commencing shortly after to remove the greyhound track around the ground to accommodate the relocation of the Brisbane Bears from Carrara (on the Gold Coast) to The Gabba, renovating the Sir Gordon Chalk Building to house the Bears Social Club and change rooms, refurbishing the Clem Jones stand, the construction of a new Western grandstand, and extending the playing surface to cater for Australian rules football.

The work was largely completed by 11 April when the Bears hosted their first AFL game at the renovated venue against Melbourne in front of 12,821 spectators.[13] Subsequent further renovations at the ground saw the current two tier stands constructed in stages with the last stage completed in 2005 when the Brisbane Lions Social Club (formerly the Brisbane Bears Social Club) was demolished and replaced with a 24 bay grandstand spread over 3 levels of seating with the entire redevelopment costing $AU128 million.[14] In mid-2020 the Gabba received a $35 million refurbishment of the stadium's media and corporate facilities, as well as entrances and spectator amenities.[15] The work was completed in October that year, shortly before the venue hosted the 2020 AFL Grand Final.[16]

2032 Summer Olympics

After Brisbane was awarded the rights to host the 2032 Summer Olympics by the International Olympic Committee, the Queensland Government announced the Gabba would be the central venue used for the Games. The government has proposed demolishing the stadium's foundations and rebuilding the Gabba with new grandstands in its place, which would seat approximately 50,000 spectators. The cost of the proposal is $1 billion. The venue will be used for Athletics along with the Opening and Closing ceremonies.[17]

Sports played at the ground

Cricket

See also: List of international cricket centuries at the Gabba

See also: List of international cricket five-wicket hauls at the Gabba

A cricket match between Australia and South Africa, December 2006
A cricket match between Australia and South Africa, December 2006
The Gabba in 2006–07 Ashes series
The Gabba in 2006–07 Ashes series
Test match between Australia and South Africa at the Gabba in November 2012
Test match between Australia and South Africa at the Gabba in November 2012

The First Test between Australia and England is played nowadays at Brisbane. Nobody seems to know why, and all sorts of arguments are ventilated for and against more cricket Tests on the Woolloongabba ground. I am all in favour of robbing Queensland of its greatest cricketing occasion, for the ground depresses. It is not a cricket ground at all. It is a concentration camp! Wire fences abound. Spectators are herded and sorted out into lots as though for all the world this was a slave market and not a game of cricket. The stands are of wood and filthy to sit on. The dining rooms are barns, without a touch of colour or a picture on the wall. Everywhere there is dust and dirt...Forgive me if I am bitter about the Woolloongabba ground...the city has many good points, and the people who live there are generous and hospitable to the highest degree, but once one goes to the cricket ground the advantages are overwhelmingly lost in the mass of rules and regulations...[18] – John Kay, 1950–51 Ashes series

The Gabba is used from October to March for cricket and is home to the Queensland Cricket Association, the Queensland Cricketers Club and the Queensland Bulls cricket team. The venue usually hosts the first Test match of the season each November in addition to a number of international one-day matches usually held in January. The pitch is usually fast and bouncy.

The Gabba's amenities were greatly improved in the 1980s from a very basic standard, especially in comparison with the other Australian cricket grounds. Test cricket was first played at the ground in November 1931, the first Test of the series between Australia and South Africa. In December 1960, Test cricket's first-ever Tied Test took place at the ground when Richie Benaud's Australian team tied with Frank Worrell's West Indian side. Queensland clinched its first-ever Sheffield Shield title with victory over South Australia in the final at the ground in March 1995.

The Gabba was the first Australian venue to host an International Twenty20 cricket match.[19]

In November 1968 Colin Milburn scored 243, including 181 in the two-hour afternoon session, in a Sheffield Shield match for Western Australia vs. Queensland.[20]

For the first day of the first Test of the 2010–11 Ashes series between Australia and England, the Gabba was almost sold out.[21] Australia's Michael Clarke holds the record for number of runs scored in one Test innings at the Gabba with 259 not out, breaking the previous record set by Alastair Cook.[22]

Australia has a formidable test match record at the ground. In the 55 matches played at the ground, Australia has won 33, drawn 13, tied 1 and lost 9. The last loss came on 19 January 2021 against India in the 4th and final test of 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar trophy.[23] India became the first Asian team to win a Test match at the Gabba.[24] This was Australia's first loss at the Gabba in 29 matches, and 32 years. England have a notoriously poor record at The Gabba, and have only won two test matches at the ground since the end of the Second World War. Many of their defeats have been heavy[25] and only seven England players have scored centuries at the ground.

On 15 December 2016, Australia hosted Pakistan for the first day-night Test at the Gabba,[26] and the first Australian day-night Test hosted outside the Adelaide Oval.

Panorama of the Gabba on the 2nd day of the 2006–07 Ashes series

Australian rules football

Australian Football Premiership Finals at the Gabba, 1907
Australian Football Premiership Finals at the Gabba, 1907
An Australian Football Match at the Gabba in 2008.
An Australian Football Match at the Gabba in 2008.
Brisbane Lions vs Sydney Swans at the Gabba looking east in 2019
Brisbane Lions vs Sydney Swans at the Gabba looking east in 2019

The first VFL/AFL game at The Gabba was held on June 28, 1981 with Hawthorn hosting Essendon in front of 20,351 spectators.[27] Six years later, the Brisbane Bears were admitted into the VFL but would initially play their home games at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast. The Brisbane Bears experimented with playing four matches at the Gabba in Brisbane in 1991, before moving all home matches to the venue ahead of the 1993 season. The Gabba was then the official home ground for the Brisbane Bears from 1993 to 1996 and since 1997 has been the home of the Brisbane Lions after the Bears merged with Fitzroy. The record crowd for an Australian rules football match is 37,473 between the Brisbane Lions and Richmond in the 2019 second qualifying final.[28]

Australian football has a long association with the ground. The Queensland Football League, a precursor to AFL Queensland played matches at the Gabba from 1905 to 1914, 1959 to 1971, and in the late 1970s and early 1980s. AFLQ matches resumed in 1993 as curtain-raiser events to AFL games, along with occasional AFLQ Grand Finals.

Interstate games, including the 1961 national carnival have also been played there, as was a demonstration game during the 1982 Commonwealth Games. In 1991 the Gabba was host to Queensland's only victory over a Victorian side.

The Gold Coast have hosted games at the Gabba in 2011 and in 2018 due to the unavailability of their home ground Carrara Stadium because of redevelopment and the 2018 Commonwealth Games respectively.

During the 2020 AFL season, the Gabba hosted a greater number of home and away matches than usual, due to the temporary relocation of Victorian and other clubs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The venue was also selected to host the 2020 AFL Grand Final, with the Melbourne Cricket Ground not capable of hosting any spectators at the match. The Gabba thus became the first stadium outside the state of Victoria to host a VFL/AFL Grand Final, which Richmond won against Geelong by 12.9 (81) to 7.8 (50) in front of 29,707 people – just under the venue's temporary maximum capacity due to the pandemic.[29] Since the MCG began hosting VFL/AFL Grand Finals (VFL until 1989, AFL afterwards), only four other venues had done so: Princes Park (1942, 1943 and 1945), the St Kilda Cricket Ground (1944), Waverley Park (1991), and Optus Stadium (2021).

Soccer

In the early 1900s, the Gabba hosted numerous matches between Australia and various touring nations.[30] During the 1950s and 1960s the Gabba hosted soccer matches for English first division and Scottish clubs including Blackpool FC, Everton FC, Manchester United and Heart of Midlothian F.C.[31] The Chinese and South African national teams also played at the ground. During the 2000 Summer Olympics, the Gabba hosted association football group games.[32]

Rugby league

On 8 May 1909, the first match of rugby league was played in Brisbane at the Gabba. Norths played against Souths before a handful of spectators at the ground.[33] The Gabba hosted its first rugby league Test match on 26 June 1909, when Australia defeated New Zealand Māori 16–13.[34] The Kangaroos continued to play Tests at this venue until 1956, and a ground record crowd of 47,800 people saw Australia play Great Britain in 1954. From 1932 to 1959 the Gabba was also used to host interstate matches and International Rugby League Finals from 1909 – 2003.

In 2023, The Gabba will play host to three Brisbane Broncos matches while their regular home ground Suncorp Stadium is unavailable due to the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.[35]

Rugby league test matches

The Gabba hosted 11 rugby league test matches between 1912 and 1956.[36]

Date Home team Opponents Result Attendance Part of
14 August 1909  Australia  Māori 16–13 8,000 1909 Māori tour
6 July 1912  Australia  New Zealand 13–10 8,000 1912 Trans-Tasman Test series
18 June 1932  Australia United Kingdom The Lions 15–6 15,944 1932 Ashes series
4 July 1936  Australia United Kingdom The Lions 7–12 29,486 1936 Ashes series
12 June 1948  Australia  New Zealand 13–4 23,014 1948 Trans-Tasman Test series
1 July 1950  Australia  Great Britain 15–3 35,000 1950 Ashes series
30 June 1951  Australia  France 23–11 35,000 1951 French rugby league tour of Australia and New Zealand
28 June 1952  Australia  New Zealand 29–45 29,243 1952 Trans-Tasman Test series
9 July 1954  Australia  Great Britain 21–38 46,355 1954 Ashes series (All time Gabba attendance record)
2 July 1955  Australia  France 28–29 45,745 1955 French rugby league tour of Australia and New Zealand[37]
23 June 1956  Australia  New Zealand 8–2 28,361 1956 Trans-Tasman Test series

Rugby union

The Gabba has hosted six rugby union Test matches.

Year Home team Result Opponents Crowd
1907  Australia 5-14  New Zealand not known
1914  Australia 0-17  New Zealand not known
1950  Australia 6-19  British and Irish Lions not known
1951  Australia 6-16  New Zealand not known
2001  Australia 13-29  British and Irish Lions 37,460
2002  Australia 38–27  South Africa 37,258

2000 Olympic Games

The Gabba hosted seven games of the 2000 Olympic Games Men's Football tournament including a Quarter final match.

Date Time (AEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
13 September 2000 19:00  Cameroon 3–2  Kuwait Group C 26,730
14 September 2000 19:00  Brazil 3–1  Slovakia Group D 24,616
16 September 2000 19:00  Czech Republic 2–3  Kuwait Group C 22,182
17 September 2000 19:00  Brazil 1–3  South Africa Group D 36,326
19 September 2000 19:00  Czech Republic 1–1  Cameroon Group C 23,442
20 September 2000 19:00  Brazil 1–0  Japan Group D 36,608
23 September 2000 19:00  Brazil 1–2 (a.e.t.)  Cameroon Quarter final 2 37,332

Greyhound racing

Greyhound racing was also conducted at the Gabba prior to the redevelopment.[38] Meetings were held during 1928 and again from 1972 until 1993.[39]

Awards

In 2009, as part of the Q150 celebrations, the Gabba was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for its role as a "structure and engineering feat".[40]

Largest crowds at the Gabba

Sport Date Crowd Event
Concerts 4-5 March 2017 60,000 Adele Live 2017
Rugby league 9 July 1954 46,355 Ashes Australia vs Great Britain
Concerts 6 November 2018 43,907 Taylor Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour
International cricket 9 January 2006 38,894 2005-06 T20 International: Australia vs South Africa
Australian rules football 7 September 2019 37,478 2019 AFL Qualifying Final: Brisbane Lions vs Richmond
Rugby union 30 June 2001 37,460 2001 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia: British & Irish Lions vs Australia
Soccer 23 September 2000 37,332 2000 Olympic Football (men's) Brazil vs Cameroon
Domestic cricket (Big Bash League) 5 January 2018 35,564 2017–18 BBL Season: Brisbane Heat vs Perth Scorchers

Test cricket records

Ricky Ponting holds the record for most career runs at the Gabba.
Ricky Ponting holds the record for most career runs at the Gabba.

Batting

Most career runs[41]
Runs Player Period
1,335 (26 innings) Australia Ricky Ponting 1996–2012
1,030 (13 innings) Australia Michael Clarke 2004–2013
1,006 (11 innings) Australia Greg Chappell 1974–1983
915 (26 innings) Australia Steve Waugh 1986–2003
912 (18 innings) Australia Mark Taylor 1989–1998
Alastair Cook holds the record for most career runs at the ground by a non-Australian.
Alastair Cook holds the record for most career runs at the ground by a non-Australian.
Michael Clarke scored 259* against South Africa in 2012, the highest score at the ground.
Michael Clarke scored 259* against South Africa in 2012, the highest score at the ground.
Richard Hadlee took 21 wickets in six innings, the most by a non-Australian.
Richard Hadlee took 21 wickets in six innings, the most by a non-Australian.
Most career runs (non-Australia)[42]
Runs Player Period
443 (8 innings) England Alastair Cook 2006–2017
314 (6 innings) Cricket West Indies Richie Richardson 1984–1992
298 (8 innings) England David Gower 1978–1990
278 (3 innings) New Zealand Martin Crowe 1985–1987
257 (4 innings) England Maurice Leyland 1933–1936
257 (5 innings) Cricket West Indies Clive Lloyd 1968–1984
Highest individual scores[43]
Runs Player Date
259* v. South Africa Australia Michael Clarke 9 Nov 2012
235* v. Australia England Alastair Cook 25 Nov 2010
226 v. South Africa Australia Don Bradman 27 Nov 1931
207 v. England Australia Keith Stackpole 27 Nov 1970
201 v. Pakistan Australia Greg Chappell 27 Nov 1981
Most centuries[44]
Centuries Player Period
5 (11 innings) Australia Greg Chappell 1974–1983
5 (13 innings) Australia Michael Clarke 2004–2013
4 (15 innings) Australia Matthew Hayden 2000–2008
4 (16 innings) Australia David Warner 2011–2021
4 (26 innings) Australia Ricky Ponting 1996–2012
Highest batting average (5+ innings)[45]
Average Player Period
111.77 (11 innings, 2 NO) Australia Greg Chappell 1974–1983
105.14 (7 innings, 0 NO) Australia Don Bradman 1931–1947
103.00 (13 innings, 3 NO) Australia Michael Clarke 2004–2013
94.60 (6 innings, 1 NO) Australia Marnus Labuschagne 2019–2021
85.16 (8 innings, 2 NO) Australia Doug Walters 1965–1980

Bowling

Most career wickets[46]
Wickets Player Period
68 (22 innings) Australia Shane Warne 1993–2006
65 (26 innings) Australia Glenn McGrath 1993–2006
40 (15 innings) Australia Craig McDermott 1985–1995
38 (20 innings) Australia Nathan Lyon 2011–2021
34 (14 innings) Australia Mitchell Johnson 2007–2015
34 (16 innings) Australia Mitchell Starc 2011–2021
Most career wickets (non-Australia)[47]
Wickets Player Period
21 (6 innings) New Zealand Richard Hadlee 1980–1987
19 (6 innings) England Bob Willis 1974–1982
18 (9 innings) Cricket West Indies Courtney Walsh 1984–2000
15 (6 innings) Cricket West Indies Curtly Ambrose 1988–1996
14 (5 innings) New Zealand Chris Cairns 1993–2001
Best innings figures[48]
Figures Player Date
9/52 v. Australia New Zealand Richard Hadlee 8 Nov 1985
8/71 v. England Australia Shane Warne 25 Nov 1994
7/23 v. Pakistan Australia Shane Warne 9 Nov 1995
7/60 v. England Australia Keith Miller 29 Nov 1946
6/17 v. West Indies Australia Glenn McGrath 23 Nov 2000
6/23 v. Sri Lanka Australia Pat Cummins 24 Jan 2019
6/29 v. India Australia Ernie Toshack 28 Nov 1947
6/41 v. Australia England Bill Voce 4 Dec 1936
6/46 v. England Australia Jeff Thompson 29 Nov 1974
6/47 v. England Australia Geoff Lawson 26 Nov 1982

Note: best innings figures limited to 10; there have actually been 27 six-wicket innings hauls at the Gabba.

Best match figures[49]
Figures Player Date
15/123 v. Australia New Zealand Richard Hadlee 8 Nov 1985
11/31 v. India Australia Ernie Toshack 28 Nov 1947
11/77 v. Pakistan Australia Shane Warne 9 Nov 1995
11/110 v. England Australia Shane Warne 25 Nov 1994
11/134 v. England Australia Geoff Lawson 26 Nov 1982
11/222 v. West Indies Australia Alan Davidson 9 Dec 1960
Lowest strike rate (4+ innings)[50]
Strike rate Player Period
22.7 (20 wickets) Australia Ernie Toshack 1946–1947
32.4 (13 wickets) England Gubby Allen 1933–1936
37.4 (32 wickets) Australia Pat Cummins 2017–2021
37.9 (31 wickets) Australia Dennis Lillee 1974–1983
38.2 (17 wickets) Australia Stuart Clark 2006–2008

Team records

Bradman made 187 after a controversial non-catch on 28 runs, as Australia totalled 645 in 1946.
Bradman made 187 after a controversial non-catch on 28 runs, as Australia totalled 645 in 1946.
Highest innings scores[51]
Score Team Date
645 Australia Australia v. England 29 Nov 1946
6/607d Australia Australia v. New Zealand 3 Dec 1993
9/602d Australia Australia v. England 23 Nov 2006
8/601d Australia Australia v. England 26 Nov 1954
585 Australia Australia v. New Zealand 18 Nov 2004
Lowest completed innings[52]
Score Team Date
58 Australia Australia v. England 4 Dec 1936
58 India India v. Australia 28 Nov 1947
76 New Zealand New Zealand v. Australia 18 Nov 2004
79 England England v. Australia 7 Nov 2002
82 Cricket West Indies West Indies v. Australia 23 Nov 2000

Partnership records

Highest partnerships[53]
Runs Wicket Players Match Date
329* 2nd Alastair Cook (235*) & Jonathan Trott (135*) England England v. Australia Australia 25 Nov 2010
307 6th Michael Hussey (195) & Brad Haddin (136) Australia Australia v. England England 25 Nov 2010
276 3rd Don Bradman (187) & Lindsay Hassett (128) Australia Australia v. England England 29 Nov 1946
272 2nd Matthew Hayden (197) & Ricky Ponting (123) Australia Australia v. England England 7 Nov 2002
269 1st Michael Slater (169) & Greg Blewett (89) Australia Australia v. Pakistan Pakistan 5 Nov 1999
Highest partnerships by wicket[54]
Runs Wicket Players Match Date
269 1st Michael Slater (169) & Greg Blewett (89) Australia Australia v. Pakistan Pakistan 5 Nov 1999
329* 2nd Alastair Cook (235*) & Jonathan Trott (135*) England England v. Australia Australia 25 Nov 2010
276 3rd Don Bradman (187) & Lindsay Hassett (128) Australia Australia v. England England 29 Nov 1946
259 4th Michael Clarke (259*) & Ed Cowan (136) Australia Australia v. South Africa South Africa 9 Nov 2012
228 5th Michael Clarke (259*) & Michael Hussey (100) Australia Australia v. South Africa South Africa 9 Nov 2012
307 6th Michael Hussey (195) & Brad Haddin (136) Australia Australia v. England England 25 Nov 2010
148 7th Steve Smith (133) & Mitchell Johnson (88) Australia Australia v. India India 17 Dec 2014
135 8th Adam Gilchrist (118) & Brett Lee (61) Australia Australia v. New Zealand New Zealand 8 Nov 2001
92 9th Eddie Paynter (83) & Hedley Verity (23*) England England v. Australia Australia 10 Feb 1933
114 10th Glenn McGrath (61) & Jason Gillespie (54*) Australia Australia v. New Zealand New Zealand 18 Nov 2004

All records correct as of 16 December 2021.

VFL/AFL records

Players

Teams

Last updated: 19 May 2015.[55]

See also

References

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Preceded byLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum(cultural opening and formal closing ceremonies)SoFi Stadium(formal opening and cultural closing ceremonies)Los Angeles Summer OlympicsOpening and closing ceremonies venue (Olympic Stadium) 2032 Succeeded byTBA Preceded byLos Angeles Memorial ColiseumLos Angeles Summer OlympicsAthletics competitionsMain venue 2032 Succeeded byTBA