The Gabba

The Brisbane Cricket Ground, commonly known as the Gabba,[1][2] 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, soccer and pony and greyhound races. 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
Brisbane Cricket Ground
The Gabba 2017 logo.png
Australia vs South Africa.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
36,000 (international cricket)
37,478 (AFL)
OwnerQueensland Government
OperatorStadiums Queensland
TenantsQueensland Bulls
Brisbane Lions (AFL)
Brisbane Heat (BBL) & (WBBL)
End names
Stanley Street End
Vulture Street End
International information
First Test27 November – 3 December 1931:
 Australia v  South Africa
Last Test21–24 November 2019:
 Australia v  Pakistan
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)
As of 8 September 2020
Source: ESPN Cricinfo

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 (east-west) by 149.9 metres (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.[3] 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.[4] For AFL matches the capacity is slightly larger at 37,478.[5][6]


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),[7] since at least the early 1860s.[8]

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.[9]

From 1993, work commenced on turning The Gabba into a state of the art stadium. The last greyhound meeting was held at The Gabba on February 5, 1993 with work commencing shortly after to remove the greyhound track around the ground to accommodate the relocation of the Brisbane Bears from 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 as well as the construction of a new Western grandstand and extending the playing surface to cater for Australian Rules Football. The work was largely completed by April 11 when the Bears hosted their first AFL game at the renovated venue against the Melbourne Football Club in front of 12,821 spectators.[10] 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.[11] In mid-2020 the Gabba began receiving a $35 million refurbishment of the stadium's media and corporate facilities, as well as entrances and specator amenities.[12] The work was completed in October that year, shortly before the venue hosted the 2020 AFL Grand Final.[13]

Sports played at the groundEdit


The Gabba in 1899

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...[14] – 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.[15]

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.[16]

For the first day of the first Test of the 2010–11 Ashes series between Australia and England, the Gabba was almost sold out.[17] 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.[18]

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 8. Australia has also not lost at the Gabba in 28 matches, a record dating back to 1988.[19] 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[20] 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,[21] 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 footballEdit

Australian Football Premiership Finals at the Gabba, 1907
An Australian Football Match at the Gabba in 2008.
Brisbane Lions vs Sydney Swans at the Gabba looking east in 2019
The grave of David Newitt, who died from injuries received in a cycling race at the Gabba in 1922.

The Gabba was the home ground for the Brisbane Bears from 1993 to 1996 and since 1997 has been the home of the Brisbane Lions AFL team. The record crowd for an Australian rules football match is 37,473 between the Brisbane Lions and Richmond in the 2019 second qualifying final.[22]

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.

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.[23] Previously, since the MCG began hosting VFL/AFL Grand Finals (VFL until 1989, AFL afterwards), only three other venues had done so: Princes Park (1942, 1943 and 1945), the St Kilda Cricket Ground (1944) and Waverley Park (1991).


In the early 1900s, the Gabba hosted numerous matches between Australia and various touring nations.[24] 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..[25] The Chinese and South African national teams also played at the ground. During the 2000 Summer Olympics, the Gabba hosted association football group games.[26]

Rugby leagueEdit

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.[27] The Gabba hosted its first rugby league Test match on 26 June 1909, when Australia defeated New Zealand Māori 16–13.[28] 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.

Rugby league test matchesEdit

The Gabba hosted 11 rugby league test matches between 1912 and 1956.[29]

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   The Lions 15–6 15,944 1932 Ashes series
4 July 1936   Australia   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[30]
23 June 1956   Australia   New Zealand 8–2 28,361 1956 Trans-Tasman Test series

Rugby unionEdit

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 GamesEdit

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 racingEdit

Greyhound racing was also conducted at the Gabba prior to the redevelopment.[31]


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".[32]

Largest crowds at the GabbaEdit

Sport Date Crowd Event
Concerts 4-5 March 2017 130,000 Adele Live 2017
Rugby League 9 July 1954 46,355 Ashes Test Match: Australia vs England
International Cricket 15 January 2006 38,874 2006 KFC T20I: Australia vs South Africa
Australian Football 7 September 2019 37,478 2019 AFL Qualifying Final: Brisbane Lions vs Richmond
Rugby Union 30 June 2001 37,460 2001 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia: British and Irish Lions vs Australia
Association Football 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

VFL/AFL recordsEdit



Last updated: 19 May 2015.[33]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Gabba (Brisbane Cricket Ground) - Austadiums". Archived from the original on 17 June 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Brisbane Cricket Ground - Australia - Cricket Grounds - ESPNcricinfo". Cricinfo. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  3. ^ "About Us". The Gabba. Archived from the original on 25 April 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  4. ^ Meyn, Travis. "Ashes Extras: Brisbane Heat batsman Chris Lynn enjoys first Test from the Gabba pool deck". Archived from the original on 26 December 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Lions eye first Gabba sellout since Fev's debut". 15 April 2019. The capacity of the Gabba (as of April 2019) has been reduced to around 36,700 with the addition of a new scoreboard, extra space behind each team's bench and 'The Verandah' in recent years. Since then the largest AFL crowd was 37,478; in September 2019.
  6. ^ Gaskin, Lee (7 September 2019). "Tigers send finals warning by feasting on wayward Lions". Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Pictorial Brisbane 1860 – 1875". Archived from the original on 27 June 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  8. ^ "The Home of CricketArchive". Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  9. ^ "The history of the Gabba Greyhound Racing Club". Just Racing. Archived from the original (Web article) on 18 July 2008.
  10. ^ "From Carrara to the Gabba". Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Gabba (Brisbane Cricket Ground) - Austadiums". Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  12. ^ "Work to upgrade the Gabba underway". 13 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Upgraded Gabba ready for Grand Final". 21 October 2020.
  14. ^ pp59-60, John Kay, Ashes to Hassett, John Sherratt & Son, 1951
  15. ^ Match Records Archived 30 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine Cricinfo
  16. ^ "Colin Milburn – An Indomitable Spirit | Cricket Features | Wisden Cricket Monthly". ESPN Cricinfo. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  17. ^ Ashes tickets selling fast Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine ESPN
  18. ^ "Ashes: England break records in draw with Australia". BBC Sport. 29 November 2010. Archived from the original on 16 December 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Cricinfo
  20. ^ "Cricket Records | Records | / | Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba, Brisbane - England | Test matches | Match results | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Australia v Pakistan: Steve Smith century puts hosts in charge in day-night Test; Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb shine". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 15 December 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  22. ^ Gaskin, Lee (7 September 2019). "Tigers send finals warning by feasting on wayward Lions". Archived from the original on 9 September 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  23. ^ "This is a win for Queensland: AFL reveals how QLD won race for historic Grand Final as key fixture details confirmed". Fox Sports. 2 September 2020.
  24. ^ Behrent, Sue (2011). History of the Socceroos. Camberwell, Vic.: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780670074266.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 May 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Newspaper report
  26. ^ 2000 Summer Olympics official report. Archived 9 November 2000 at the Wayback Machine Volume 1. p. 392.
  27. ^ Pramberg, Bernie (2 May 2009). "Leo Donovan special guest at BRL celebrations". The Courier-Mail. Australia: Queensland Newspapers. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  28. ^ Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "Maori Tour 1909 Series - Game 7 - Rugby League Project". Archived from the original on 30 August 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  29. ^ Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "Brisbane Cricket Ground - Results - Rugby League Project". Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  30. ^ "Les Chanticleers Tour 1955 - Rugby League Project". Archived from the original on 7 July 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  31. ^ "The history of the Gabba Greyhound Racing Club". Just Racing. Archived from the original (Web article) on 18 July 2008.
  32. ^ Bligh, Anna (10 June 2009). "PREMIER UNVEILS QUEENSLAND'S 150 ICONS". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  33. ^ "AFL Tables - Gabba". Archived from the original on 18 July 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2018.

External linksEdit