It is understood that a private consortium backed by the world’s largest entertainment venue operator AEG is planning a new $400 million entertainment venue in the heart of Brisbane.
The world class facility would have a capacity of over 15,000 and play host to major international concerts, shows and events.
The Sunday Mail reported that a location has yet to be determined however one likely site is the Riverside Parmalat dairy factory in South Brisbane, adjacent to South Bank’s existing cultural facilities QPAC, Queensland Museum and GoMA.
The Parmalat site would be walking distance from the new $3 billion Queens Wharf Integrated Resort, effectively creating a ring of state-of-the-art entertainment facilities around South Bank and the CBD.
It is understood that a possible land swap deal may be in order which would involve the relocation of the Parmalat factory to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Boondal, however this is not confirmed.
Brisbane, a city with a metropolitan population of 2.3 million and a regional population of 3.4 million has no dedicated CBD or inner city based entertainment arena and is seen as a huge potential money cow for the private sector consortium lead by AEG’s Australasian arm AEG-Ogden.
Brisbane-based chairman and chief executive of AEG-Ogden Harvey Lister said Brisbane’s recent success in attracting top events meant the new venue is needed and the worldwide trend was for inner city locations connected to public transport.
Several sites are being considered for the venue including the former GoPrint site, which would sit on top of a future Cross River Rail underground station in Woolloongabba.
The State Government is currently investigating a market-led projects scheme which is being proposed by the Brisbane based consortium and has backing by global entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group,
AEG-Ogden boss Harvey Lister said Brisbane is a new world city and it is time for the fans of music, events and indoor sport to be provided with the next generation top level facilities.
“It would be enormously exciting for Brisbane and southeast Queensland,” he said.
It is anticipated that the new inner city Brisbane Arena would replace Brisbane’s ageing and isolated Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Boondal which would continue to operate however with a greater focus on sports and non-headline events.
As expected the privately funded entertainment arena is receiving bipartisan backing from all sides of government on all levels.
Deputy Premier and local MP Jackie Trad backed the proposal.
“Having a central entertainment venue would be of enormous benefit to Brisbane residents and for our reputation as an international city,” Ms Trad said.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said that he “welcomes investment for projects that will add to the lifestyle and leisure opportunities for Brisbane.’’
Labor candidate for Lord Mayor Rod Harding said: “Brisbane deserves a world-class entertainment venue in the CBD. I’ll make it happen.”
Source: News Release, Brisbane Development, 28, February, 2016