The Brisbane Cricket Ground, commonly known as ‘The Gabba’, is one of the city of Brisbane’s major icons. The Gabba is named after the suburb of Woolloongabba, where it is located, just 1 kilometre from the Brisbane city centre.
Over the years, The Gabba has hosted cricket, athletics, Australian Rules Football, baseball, cycling, Rugby League, Rugby Union, soccer and pony and greyhound races, along with being the stage for many international concerts. The Gabba is home to the Brisbane Lions Australian Football League team; the Queensland Cricket Association; and the Queensland Bulls state cricket team.
The first cricket match was held on the site in 1896 - an historic match between Members of Parliament and the press. Since then, many cricketing legends have been created here. The first Test Cricket match at The Gabba was played between Australia and South Africa in 1931. The Gabba was also the first Australian venue to host an International Twenty20 cricket match in 2006.
Today, the 42,000 seat stadium almost resembles a mini Melbourne Cricket Ground, complete with light towers and a large modern grandstand encircling the ground. Unrestricted views of the oval playing surface from all areas have made it a perfect venue for hosting international sporting and entertainment events. The Gabba usually hosts the first Test Cricket match of the season each November, in addition to a number of international one-day cricket matches, usually held in January. It was also the venue for the opening match of the historic 2013 British and Irish Lions Australia Tour.
Australian Rules football was played at The Gabba from as early as 1905.
During the 1950s and 1960s The Gabba hosted soccer matches for English first division clubs including Blackpool FC, Everton FC and Manchester United. The Chinese and South African national teams have also played at the ground.
The first Rugby League Test match was played at the Gabba in 1909 between Australia and New Zealand. The largest crowd attendance ever at the Gabba was for a Rugby League Test Match between Australia and Great Britain in 1954, when more than 47,000 people packed the arena. The Gabba has also hosted six Rugby Union Test matches.
A team of dedicated volunteers regularly conduct tours of the Gabba. These behind the scenes tours will give you a first-hand look at the areas usually off limits to the general public. Check in advance for tour schedules; and bookings are essential.
One of the best ways to get a local’s view of the city is with the Brisbane Greeters service, part of the Global Greeters Network, which began in New York in 1992. These free two-hour tours will help you discover Brisbane with a local.
Public transport is one of the easiest ways to get to the Gabba; or it’s an easy walk from the Brisbane city centre. South Bank train station is the closest railway station. There are also regular bus services. On days when major events are held, additional shuttle bus services run from various locations throughout Brisbane.