Brisbane’s cricket ground will remain known as ‘The Gabba’ even if naming rights are sold for the first time, the Queensland government says.
Flogging naming rights to the iconic stadium for $2 million a year is among the recommendations that will be made to government to bring in much needed cash, The Sunday-Mail reports.
But a government spokesman said the stadium’s nickname would be worked into any future naming rights or sponsorship agreement.
“The venue will always be known as The Gabba,” he said.
“Of course, we will look at any recommendations in the Lee Report into Stadiums Queensland.”
Sports and tourism executive John Lee in April began a review of the state’s nine government-owned venues in order to make recommendations to boost their performance.
It came as the Gabba’s position in Australian cricket’s venue pecking order slipped when it was overlooked to host world No.1 Test side India this summer.
New stadiums in Perth and Adelaide have leapfrogged the Gabba, where Australia has traditionally played the first Test of each summer and not lost since 1988.
Sports Minister Mick de Brenni this month announced the Stadiums Queensland board, which runs The Gabba and Suncorp Stadium on behalf of the government, had been sacked after it was criticised for its management and costs imposed on the state’s major sporting teams.
The Liberal National Party opposition would support a deal that would see an improvement in infrastructure and possible return of the first Test, so long as it wasn’t named after a politician.
“If it is recommended that the naming rights are to be flogged off to the highest bidder we need to make sure … that every red cent gets ploughed back into the stadium,” Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was this week forced to drop a plan to name a stand at Suncorp Stadium after former Queensland treasurer Terry Mackenroth, who died this year.
The proposal sparked a backlash, distressing Mr Mackenroth’s family.