Details revealed for 6000-seat indoor sports centre and expanded 20,000-capacity stadium

Extensive details have been revealed for a new world-class indoor sports centre and an expanded stadium at a precinct in Kawana, ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The venues are expected to be enjoyed by the community before, during and long after the Games.

Kawana was chosen for a sports expansion that will boost a range of clubs and also benefit business, tourism and allied health providers.

Sunshine Coast Council, in conjunction with Brisbane 2032 Games delivery partners, will bring a new international indoor sports centre that will have capacity for 11 courts and the ability to convert to a 6000-seat show court.

It is expected to be running in 2027 and funded by the Australian and Queensland governments under their Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games funding agreement, with the cost to be determined once the design process is completed.

Deputy Premier and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympic and Paralympic Games Infrastructure Steven Miles and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson on Wednesday jointly announced the new centre, plus an expansion of the outdoor Sunshine Coast Stadium, aquatic centre and Sunshine Coast Sports Hub.

Cr Jamieson said the expanded sports precinct would benefit the region for decades.

“Confirmation of the new indoor stadium at Kawana now provides the opportunity to develop our very own world-class sporting precinct here on the Sunshine Coast,” he said.

“Without a doubt, the Sunshine Coast will once again be the envy of other regional areas across the country.

“In other exciting news, the long-awaited Sunshine Coast Stadium expansion should now start in 2024.’’

The expansion will deliver an additional 10,768 fixed seats, taking total fixed seating capacity to 11,814.

By utilising the mounds at the northern and southern ends, the stadium will have a total capacity of about 16,000.

Additional temporary seating can be installed to boost the total seating capacity to 20,000 to accommodate the proposed 2032 Olympic Games football matches.

Cr Jamieson said the development of the indoor sports centre at Kawana would benefit a range of groups and sports, including basketball, netball, volleyball, pickleball, futsal and badminton.

“Importantly, it will provide an opportunity to design and construct a facility that will be leading edge in respect to accessibility and service to the many para-sports and athletes we have in the region,’’ he said.

“As part of the Future Host Questionnaire that was submitted to the International Olympic Committee Future Host Commission in May 2021, the Kawana Sports Precinct was presented as the preferred location to co-host the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games basketball competition.

“The Kawana location has now been confirmed with the Brisbane 2032 OCOG (Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) and the Queensland Government, and planning and design works will start immediately with a view of commencing construction of the new indoor sports centre in 2025.

“This will result in the venue being available to our community in 2027, well before the proposed Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games basketball competition – which is exactly what our collective commitment to a 10+10+ legacy is all about.’’

Plans for the precinct, including the indoor sports centre, right, and the expanded stadium, top.

Mr Miles said the sports precinct was well positioned to provide lasting benefits for the region.

“We knew bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Queensland would deliver many benefits right across the state,” he said.

“The Sunshine Coast Indoor Sports Centre will be one of six new sporting venues this government is investing in, and all of these venues will be ready for use well before the Games comes to Queensland.

“The new indoor sports centre will inspire the next generation of Sunshine Coast athletes, support growth and play host to one of the most significant sporting events in the world.

“All Brisbane 2032 venues are planned with lasting benefits in mind to meet the demands of our growing Queensland population.

“It cements the Sunshine Coast’s importance during the Games and delivers legacy benefits for decades to come.”

Brisbane 2032 OCOG president Andrew Liveris said that the committee was supportive of the venue.

“There has been significant input from subject matter experts confirming Kawana as the location for the indoor sports centre, which aligns with the Brisbane 2032 candidature and Master Plan,” Mr Liveris said.

“The information demonstrates that the Sunshine Coast Sports Precinct at Kawana will deliver great outcomes for both community sport and the Games.

“Come July 2032, southeast Queensland will be on show to the world and the Sunshine Coast Sport Precinct at Kawana will be a perfect example of embracing the International Olympic Committee’s ‘new norm’ – an event and accompanying venues that are suited to the community’s long-term needs: affordable, beneficial and sustainable.”

The decision to develop the indoor sports centre at Kawana follows a review of the site and another located in the Maroochydore City Centre. That proposal was for basketball to be hosted in the proposed (but not yet funded) Sunshine Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre within the Maroochydore City Centre.

Mayor Mark Jamieson and Deputy Premier Steven Miles celebrate the new indoor stadium announcement at Kawana.

Key sporting stakeholders also lauded the planned venues.

“The growth of the sport within Queensland is unprecedented, with 79.2 per cent growth in participation since the end of 2019,” Basketball Queensland CEO Joshua Pascoe said.

“Facilities such as the proposed Sunshine Coast Indoor Sports Centre will not only provide a venue suitable for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games but more importantly the 11 courts in community mode will provide an excellent community sporting legacy for the Sunshine Coast and ensure that the sport and the region can continue to go from strength to strength.”

Sunshine Coast Phoenix Basketball president Vic Benjamin added: “Our region has been crying out for more indoor courts for years now.

“The growth of basketball has been enormous over recent years across the whole of Australia and sadly the quantity and quality of our venues on the Sunshine Coast has not grown with the popularity of the sport.

“All of the basketball community is hugely excited about what this new 11 court facility will do for our sport and how it will be able to cater for all levels, from our grassroots programs for kids through to our elite NBL1 programs.”

Sunshine Coast Lightning CEO Danielle Smith said the indoor centre would be a boon for her national league netball side.

“We are incredibly grateful for our home at the University of the Sunshine Coast, which has seen two amazing expansions of UniSC Arena (formerly known as USC Stadium) in 2017 and 2019 to reach its maximum capacity to the current 3000 spectators,” she said.

“As our local population and Lightning membership continues to grow, the opportunity to have a 6000-seat capacity venue in our region is hugely exciting.

“Being able to provide an expanded offering will be great for our members, fans and the wider community — as well as the sustainability of our club.”

Three-time Paralympian and Australian Steelers wheelchair rugby captain Chris Bond said the venue would help the region become one of the most accessible in the world.

“In my 12 years on the Australian wheelchair rugby team I have had to relocate to Brisbane on occasion to have access to a consistent high-performance daily training environment,” he said.

“I am hoping that with the 2032 Paralympics held in Queensland, we will see put in place over the next decade the infrastructure which will support a legacy of retaining local athletes, creating sustainable training hubs on the Sunshine Coast for a wide range of sports and ensuring that the Sunshine Coast can work towards being one of the most accessible regions in the world.”

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