BRISBANE, Australia (AP)The federal and the Queensland state government have agreed on an almost 50-50 funding split to build or remodel venues for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited the Queensland state capital Friday to make the formal announcement about a deal worth an estimated 7 billion Australian dollars ($4.8 billion).
The federal government will create a new 17,-000 indoor arena to host swimming and water polo at Roma Street, the city’s main public transport hub, and contribute to other stadium and venue refurbishments. The state government will be responsible for demolishing and rebuilding the Gabba, which will be the main stadium for the Olympics.
The 2.7 billion Australian dollars ($1.85 billion) rebuild will add 8,000 seats to increase the capacity to 50,000 at the Gabba, the long-time home of cricket in Queensland state, and incorporate a new subway station in the precinct. Construction is set to begin in 2026.
”This will leave a really lasting legacy for Queensland,” Albanese told local radio station 4BC. ”It’s an investment that will produce a return with increased economic activity, increased visitors … Queensland is such a fantastic tourist destination and this will really showcase the state.”
Federal Sport Minister Anika Wells told ABC radio it would be a 50-50 funding split.
”It’s an agreement between the federal government and the Queensland government about how we’re going to pay for all of the infrastructure that the southeast Queensland venues will need to put on the 2032 Games,” she said.
The state government said more than 80% of the infrastructure for the Games already exists.
The International Olympic Committee awarded the 2032 Games to Brisbane in July 2021 under a revamped procedure for choosing host cities in which a small group of IOC members identify and propose host cities to the board. That made Brisbane next in line after Paris and Los Angeles, giving local organizers more than a decade to prepare.
Australia has twice previously hosted the Summer Olympics, at Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000. The state government of New South Wales picked up most of the costs for the 2000 Games.
The 2032 organizing committee held its first board meeting last April, and in December appointed American Cindy Hook as the inaugural CEO of the organizing committee.
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