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Author Topic: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds  (Read 2155 times)

Offline ozbob

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From Courier Mail click here!

RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds

Quote
RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
Article from: The Courier-Mail

By Peter Morley

April 02, 2008 12:00am

THE ROYAL National Association will today announce a billion-dollar makeover of its central Brisbane showgrounds, after revealing a million-dollar hit from last year's Ekka flu.

The makeover will include retail, commercial and residential facilities ? designed to turn the showgrounds between Fortitude Valley and Bowen Hills into a year-round inner-city lifestyle-cultural hub.

The Ekka will remain a permanent cornerstone of the the 22ha precinct under the masterplan to be released for public comment today.

The private sector will be invited to enter joint ventures with the RNA, which also plans hotel accommodation for the site ? and, potentially, new rail and bus access. And ? if negotiations with the State Government succeed ? the old Queensland Museum built originally by the association will become the new front entrance to the Bowen Hills site.

But the RNA first has to get approval from the Urban Land Development Authority which was set up by the state to take Bowen Hills planning matters out of the hands of the Brisbane City Council.

Last night a spokeswoman for the ULDA said the authority had been negotiating with the RNA and "the work they want to do has been accommodated" in the interim land-use plan the state released on Monday.

RNA chief executive Jonathan Tunney said plans could take 15 years to deliver but timing would depend on the amount of private support because, financially, the RNA could not manage alone.

"We will end up with an exciting, vibrant facility for the people of Queensland who can use it 24 hours a day, more or less year-round," Mr Tunney said. "We will end up with a retail, commercial and accommodation area that ? for 10 days of the year, Ekka time ? will have a farm on top of it."

Streets within the precinct would close and new ones would be created in the redevelopment due to start late next year with refurbishment of the industrial or show bag pavilion and a new large-animal facility on the O'Connell Tce side.

Mr Tunney said that the project would provide up to 250,000sq m of commercial space, 30,000sq  m for retail, 30,000sq m for residential use and the industrial pavilion would expand to 75,000sq m.

"There will be more than enough room in that pavilion for us to continue staging the biggest truck show in the southern hemisphere but, in conditions where the floor is level and exhibitors do not have to let down tyre pressures to get vehicles in," Mr Tunney said.

After public consultation, the RNA will submit development applications to the ULDA.

State Government sources said yesterday that the showgrounds might be serviced by a new internodal station handling rail and bus passengers.

A committee including Queensland Rail and Queensland Transport would report next year on an underground rail link that would run between Woolloongabba, the city and Spring Hill, with a possible link to the existing line that runs through the showgrounds.


Meanwhile, the full extent of last year's flu outbreak has been revealed in the RNA's annual report. It showed that the outbreak and inclement weather at Ekka time wiped $1.2 million from last year's Brisbane Exhibition gate receipts, which dropped a staggering 23 per cent to just over $4 million.

But the RNA still had a surplus of $1.55 million, the Ekka shortfall being covered by other events and parking fees.

President Vivian Edwards said that there were lessons to be learnt from the 2007 Ekka.

"In 2008, the RNA will work closely with Queensland Health in the preparation, planning and communication for (a flu outbreak)," Dr Edwards, a neurophysician, said.

The record Ekka attendance of more than 800,000 was set in 1988, the year Brisbane hosted the World Expo.

--> See the Ekka plans here
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Offline mrciclismo

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2008, 03:13:58 PM »
No mention of light rail again  >:( All these developments will result in greater numbers of people in these areas and they want to put buses on these roads......Good one!!!

Offline ozbob

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 02:21:21 PM »
Brisbanetimes --> RNA redevelopment to feature King St precinct
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Offline pandmaster

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 03:06:53 PM »
It is prime land that could be used a lot better and a lot more. Unfortunately a fortune has been spent on the 'Gabba and Suncorp Stadium over the last 15-20 years so it is unlikely any funding could be found for a Perth-style (http://www.perthstadium.com.au/) multi-purpose (rectangle and oval) stadium to be built there. The 'Gabba is not up to scratch for the major events (e.g. Cricket World Cup) and Suncorp is too small to take major events like the Bledisloe Cup and NRL Grand Final, etc... away from ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Buses are for low-density and older areas without the know-how of today. Why you would have buses in a place like this is beyond me.

Offline ozbob

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2014, 02:55:10 AM »
Couriermail --> Second stage of $2.9 billion RNA makeover expected to create 1400 jobs
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Offline nathandavid88

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 01:11:09 PM »
It is prime land that could be used a lot better and a lot more. Unfortunately a fortune has been spent on the 'Gabba and Suncorp Stadium over the last 15-20 years so it is unlikely any funding could be found for a Perth-style (http://www.perthstadium.com.au/) multi-purpose (rectangle and oval) stadium to be built there. The 'Gabba is not up to scratch for the major events (e.g. Cricket World Cup) and Suncorp is too small to take major events like the Bledisloe Cup and NRL Grand Final, etc... away from ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Buses are for low-density and older areas without the know-how of today. Why you would have buses in a place like this is beyond me.

The last thing Brisbane needs is yet another sporting oval! We have an oversupply of them already, with some of them being under-utilised (like QSAC out at Nathan and Ballymore), and the space needs to be something than can be used during the Ekka, which an additional oval couldn't be (the Main Ring is all the oval Ekka needs). The type of redevelopment that is currently occurring is appropriate, as it will activate an area that is currently closed up and vacant for much of the year, and will allow the RNA to receive more income to finance the ongoing maintenance costs of the grounds.

As for the bus comment, there are two train station located within 5-10 minutes walk, depending which end of the showgrounds you are at – for King Street, it would be Fortitude Valley, and there is still the possibility there for introducing permanent services to the Ekka station all year around, if needs warrant it.

Offline pandmaster

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2014, 09:21:20 PM »
It is prime land that could be used a lot better and a lot more. Unfortunately a fortune has been spent on the 'Gabba and Suncorp Stadium over the last 15-20 years so it is unlikely any funding could be found for a Perth-style (http://www.perthstadium.com.au/) multi-purpose (rectangle and oval) stadium to be built there. The 'Gabba is not up to scratch for the major events (e.g. Cricket World Cup) and Suncorp is too small to take major events like the Bledisloe Cup and NRL Grand Final, etc... away from ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Buses are for low-density and older areas without the know-how of today. Why you would have buses in a place like this is beyond me.

The last thing Brisbane needs is yet another sporting oval! We have an oversupply of them already, with some of them being under-utilised (like QSAC out at Nathan and Ballymore), and the space needs to be something than can be used during the Ekka, which an additional oval couldn't be (the Main Ring is all the oval Ekka needs). The type of redevelopment that is currently occurring is appropriate, as it will activate an area that is currently closed up and vacant for much of the year, and will allow the RNA to receive more income to finance the ongoing maintenance costs of the grounds.

As for the bus comment, there are two train station located within 5-10 minutes walk, depending which end of the showgrounds you are at – for King Street, it would be Fortitude Valley, and there is still the possibility there for introducing permanent services to the Ekka station all year around, if needs warrant it.

I know there are plenty of stadiums around but many of them still serve a purpose and only the 'Gabba and Suncorp attract major events. Ballymore for example has served its purpose as major venue and now finds use as a training ground for the Roar and Reds as well as a ground for minor rugby games. It essentially a training ground and offices for the Roar and QRU and is nowhere near the same league as Suncorp. What is missing in Brisbane is a large stadium for marquee events. Sporting events are a major part of the events and tourism calendar in Brisbane (not much else to do) and a high-quality multi-purpose stadium would draw events to Brisbane. The NRL Grand Final for example will never be at Suncorp as you can get 30 000 more fans at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

There is no scope to expand the 'Gabba or Suncorp without huge alterations to the surrounding areas (divert roads, resume houses). QSAC is not going to be feasible due to its location. The showgrounds has great public transport access as you pointed out and is a central location, making it accessible to people all over Brisbane and also allows crowds to disperses after an event as they are not all going the same way. The Entertainment Centre for example is a nightmare to get out. Its remote location on a single motorway and towards the end of train line combined with the lack additional train services for many events encourages driving and using the single access road.

A stadium that can be both rectangle and oval would have the Lions, Reds, Roar and Broncos as well as international games of cricket, soccer/football and rugby league/union and thus have much more activity at the presently underused site. In hindsight I think the government should have spent the money redeveloping Suncorp and the 'Gabba on a new stadium. The revenue from developing both prime sites could have contributed to the cost of the new stadium. Unfortunately that did not happen so we are stuck with it. I was more ruing the missed opportunity and lack of foresight in spending millions on stadia with no further enlargement potential than suggesting it be done today.


Absolutely on the buses. Why would you need them? Perhaps provision should be made for a light rail corridor in future to form part of a longer line but otherwise the rail infrastructure is fine. A pedestrian link from the showground to the RBWH could be built if they really wanted buses to serve the area.

DL; DR: IMHO a stadium should have been built at the prime showgrounds site instead of redeveloping Suncorp and the 'Gabba in order to attract major events. Hindsight is 20/20. The area is already well served by rail so why bother with buses?

Offline SurfRail

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2014, 09:59:06 PM »
I don't see why the government needs to fund stadia when there are 2 fit for purpose stadia practically right next to town already.  Let one of the leagues pay for it if there is such a need.
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Offline pandmaster

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2014, 02:53:47 AM »
The 'Gabba is below par. Adelaide gets a better go for the Cricket World Cup next year. Suncorp is too small for attract marquee events. If it was bigger I reckon the NRL GF would be there as soon as they could once the Sydney contract expires, perhaps alternating each year. They may be fit for purpose but they are not capable of growth.

If the government does not fund stadiums I do not know who will. There is not enough money in sport for teams to go it alone and probably not leagues either. Maybe they could split the cost but that requires a lot of negotiation with sharing, revenues, etc... and still may not be enough anyway. Groups that did not pay would be excluded as well, meaning the stadium is not being as well utilised as it could be. Stadiums are important pieces of infrastructure that they government should provide to foster economic activity as they can will not likely be built by the private sector.

Offline SurfRail

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2014, 08:36:50 AM »
I think you're probably kidding yourself by thinking the NRL would ever hold a grand final outside Sydney regardless.
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Offline newbris

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2014, 12:03:02 PM »
I can't imagine a combined oval/rectangle stadium would be as good as suncorp for watching rectangular sports. If anything the Roar would prefer a smaller rectangle stadium rather than a large oval one. Either way, can't be justified. Replacing Boondall, or building another theatre, would come above that I imagine.

Offline aldonius

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2014, 12:04:13 PM »
I think you're probably kidding yourself by thinking the NRL would ever hold a grand final outside Sydney regardless.

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achiruel

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2014, 08:09:02 PM »
While ANZ Stadium in Sydney may have a larger capacity, Suncorp is FAR better in terms of spectating for rectangular-field sports (i.e. the two rugby codes and round-ball football).

I'd rather we kept Suncorp, and the cricket/AFL matches can stay at the Gabba.  Multipurpose venues usually lean too far to accommodating oval-field sports IMO.

Online Old Northern Road

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2014, 10:29:51 PM »
Multipurpose stadiums are garbage. The only reason they build them in AFL cities is because there is very little interest in any other sport apart from AFL so it is not viable for them to build large rectangular stadiums. At Docklands Stadium (or whatever it is called now) they don't even bother moving the seats anymore because it damages the grass (not that moving the seats made much difference).

Suncorp Stadium is the perfect size for Brisbane. If anything you could argue the Gabba is a little bit too big as it usually only reaches capacity for a couple of 20/20s each year nowadays.

Online Old Northern Road

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2014, 10:32:57 PM »
It is prime land that could be used a lot better and a lot more. Unfortunately a fortune has been spent on the 'Gabba and Suncorp Stadium over the last 15-20 years so it is unlikely any funding could be found for a Perth-style (http://www.perthstadium.com.au/) multi-purpose (rectangle and oval) stadium to be built there. The 'Gabba is not up to scratch for the major events (e.g. Cricket World Cup) and Suncorp is too small to take major events like the Bledisloe Cup and NRL Grand Final, etc... away from ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Buses are for low-density and older areas without the know-how of today. Why you would have buses in a place like this is beyond me.
Bledisloe Cup is being held in Brisbane next month.

Offline pandmaster

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Re: Article: RNA plans billion-dollar makeover for Ekka showgrounds
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2014, 03:51:47 PM »
It is prime land that could be used a lot better and a lot more. Unfortunately a fortune has been spent on the 'Gabba and Suncorp Stadium over the last 15-20 years so it is unlikely any funding could be found for a Perth-style (http://www.perthstadium.com.au/) multi-purpose (rectangle and oval) stadium to be built there. The 'Gabba is not up to scratch for the major events (e.g. Cricket World Cup) and Suncorp is too small to take major events like the Bledisloe Cup and NRL Grand Final, etc... away from ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

Buses are for low-density and older areas without the know-how of today. Why you would have buses in a place like this is beyond me.
Bledisloe Cup is being held in Brisbane next month.

This year and every second year Australia hosts two games. In the years where only one is in Australia it is in Sydney.

NZ utilises the multipurpose stadium very well (e.g. Eden  Park and Westpac Stadium) and I think it makes sense to consolidate into one facility.

The spectator experience at Suncorp is far better than ANZ, I agree. ANZ is far more flexible though: swings and roundabouts!

A new entertainment centre at the showgrounds is a good idea.  :-t

 

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