How will the Olympics transform Brisbane?

Brisbane hosting the 2032 Olympics will benefit the entire state with a boost to jobs, property prices and wages, experts say.

Brisbane was announced as the host of the 2032 Olympic Games at a ceremony in Tokyo last week. The Games are expected to trump all history-making events that transformed Queensland in the past, including the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and 2018 and Expo ’88.

“Brisbane will be an Olympic city and there flows from that a heap of economic and social benefits,” Urbis director Kate Meyrick said. “There’s something in the Olympic Games for Brisbane 2032 for everybody.

“It’s anticipated the event will generate at least 150,000 jobs across Queensland’s south-east, concentrated primarily in construction and hospitality.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already boosted property prices across the south-east, a trend which is expected to continue over the next 10 years. Property prices in Sydney rose nearly 90 per cent in the five years following the Sydney 2000 Olympics, according to Antonia Mercorella from the Real Estate Institute of Queensland. The price growth following the 1992 Games in Barcelona was around 40 per cent.

The Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro projects will already be established, but a proposed second M1 and rail upgrades will also be needed to ease congestion with events to be held on the Sunshine and Gold coasts.

“We do need to ensure good transport links between the areas, particularly Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast… which would then make it an attractive place to live, which would drive up potential salaries,” Judith Marr from University of Queensland Business School said.

Traffic woes caused by the upgrades will be well worth the pain, demographer Bernard Salt said.

“There’s no doubt there’s going to be congestion, there’s going to be roadworks, it’s going to be difficult, there’ll be tears before we get to the opening day, but get to the other side and you can set the agenda for decades to come,” he said.”In many respects this a great opportunity for the whole of Australia in getting Brisbane’s traffic up to scratch so that we can actually manage the event”.

So where can you expect property growth?

Some venues have been previously confirmed, including a re-built 50,000-capacity Gabba to be the main stadium. This will be a massive boon to the area, with buyers already flocking to the area to get in close to the heart of the action.

Officials are planning to host an Olympic Games that’ll break-even – avoiding the mistakes of previous hosts were huge sums of money have been spent building stadiums that end up as white elephants. To do this, quite a number of venues that already exist – or, as in the case of the Gabba stadium, scheduled for an update – will be the heart of the event. This doesn’t mean that we won’t be seeing updates however: there are quite a few new venues that are going to have to be built for the 2032 Olympics!

The Brisbane 2032 Masterplan includes 32 venues within South-East Queensland for the 28 Olympic sports, located in three primary zones.

Brisbane’s initial bid document pitched as many as seven new venues being built, with the potential to reduce to just two new venues. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said “We already have 85 per cent of the venues at the moment. It’s a new norm, which means it’s a game changer.”

Various new stadiums will be constructed, including the 17,000-capacity inner-city Brisbane Arena (first mooted in 2018), to host swimming with a temporary pool being constructed within the new arena, and the Brisbane Indoor Sports Centre, to host basketball. It’s also proposed a new 10,000-capacity Chandler Indoor Sports Centre would replace the existing Chandler Arena to host gymnastics.

The traditional home of Queensland Rugby, Ballymore, would be transformed into a 15,000-capacity Hockey venue. Redevelopment work at the iconic stadium commenced in February to modernise its facilities.

All of these areas can be expected to be hotspots of growth over the coming years, as everyone will want to benefit from both the short- and long-term effects of the development in these areas.

Written: 29 July 2021

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