The Gabba

The Gabba
Brisbane Cricket Ground
Ground information
Location Woolloongabba, Queensland
Coordinates 27°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
Establishment 1895
Capacity 42,000[1]
Owner Queensland Government
Operator Stadiums Queensland
Tenants Queensland cricket team, Brisbane Lions, Brisbane Heat
End names
Stanley Street End
Vulture Street End
International information
First Test 27 November – 3 December 1931:
 Australia v  South Africa
Last Test 5–9 November 2015:
 Australia v  New Zealand
First ODI 23 December 1979:
 England v  West Indies
Last ODI 15 January 2016:
 Australia v  India
First T20I 9 January 2006:
 Australia v  South Africa
Last T20I 13 February 2013:
 Australia v  West Indies
Team information
Queensland (1896–present)
Brisbane Bears (AFL) (1991, 1993–1996)
Brisbane Lions (AFL) (1997–present)
Gold Coast Suns (AFL) (2011)
Brisbane Heat (BBL) (2011–present)
Brisbane Heat (WBBL) (2015–present)
As of 15 January 2016
Source: Cricinfo

The Brisbane Cricket Ground, commonly known as the Gabba,[2][3] is a major sports stadium in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. It is named after the suburb of Woolloongabba, in which it is located.

The land on which the ground sits was first set aside for use as a cricket ground in 1895 and the first cricket match was held on the site on 19 December 1896, between Parliament and The Press. Prior to this, cricket was played at the cricket ground located in the area then known as 'Green Hills' (then located beside Countess Street Petrie Terrace opposite the Victoria Barracks – now occupied by the Northern Busway),[4] since at least the early 1860s.[5]

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.

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.

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 Football at elite level. The seating capacity of the ground is now 42,000.

Sports played at the ground


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...[6] – 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.[7]

In November 1968 Colin Milburn scored 243 – in the two-hour afternoon session he scored 181- in a Sheffield Shield match for Western Australia vs. Queensland [8]

For the first day of the first Test of the 2010–11 Ashes series between Australia and England the Gabba was almost sold out.[9] 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.[10]

Australia has quite a good 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 24 matches, a record dating back to 1988.[11]

Panorama of the Gabba on the 2nd day of the 2006–07 Ashes series

Australian rules football

Australian Football Premiership Finals at the Gabba, 1907
An Australian Football Match at the Gabba in 2008.
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 37,224 between the Brisbane Lions and Collingwood.

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.


In the early 1900s, the Gabba hosted numerous matches between Australia and various touring nations.[12] 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.[13] The Chinese and South African national teams also played at the ground. During the 2000 Summer Olympics, the Gabba hosted association football group games.[14]

Rugby league

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

The Gabba hosted 11 rugby league test matches between 1912 and 1956.[17]

Date Opponents Result Attendance Part of
14 August 1909  Māori 16–13 8,000 1909 Māori tour
6 July 1912  New Zealand 13–10 8,000 1912 All Blacks tour
18 June 1932  England 15–6 15,944 1932 Ashes series
4 July 1936  England 7–12 29,486 1936 Ashes series
12 June 1948  New Zealand 13–4 23,014 1948 Trans-Tasman Test series
1 July 1950  Great Britain 15–3 35,000 1950 Ashes series
30 June 1951  France 23–11 35,000
28 June 1952  New Zealand 29–45 29,243 1952 Trans-Tasman Test series
9 July 1954  Great Britain 21–38 46,355 1954 Ashes series
All time Gabba attendance record
2 July 1955  France 28–29 45,745
23 June 1956  New Zealand 8–2 28,361 1956 Trans-Tasman Test series

Rugby union

The Gabba has hosted six rugby union Test matches.

Year Home team Away team Result Score Crowd
1907  Australia  New Zealand Lost 14–5 not known
1914  Australia  New Zealand Lost 17–0 not known
1950  Australia British and Irish Lions Lost 19–6 not known
1951  Australia  New Zealand Lost 16–6 not known
2001  Australia British and Irish Lions Lost 29–13 37,460
2002  Australia  South Africa Won 38–27 37,258

Greyhound racing

Greyhound racing was also conducted at the Gabba prior to the redevelopment.[18]

Highest crowds at the Gabba

Rugby League – 46,355 – 1954 Test Match: Australia v Great Britain

Cricket – 38,874 – 2006 VB Series T20I: Australia v South Africa

Australian Football – 37,224 – 2005 AFL: Brisbane Lions v Collingwood

Rugby Union- 37,460- 2001 British and Irish Lions vs Australia

Big Bash League- 33,783- Brisbane Heat vs Adelaide Strikers January 8, 2016 [19]

VFL/AFL records



Last updated: 19 May 2015.[20]

See also


  1. Brisbane Cricket Ground – World of Stadiums
  2. Australian Stadiums
  3. Brisbane Cricket GroundCricinfo
  4. "Pictorial Brisbane 1860 – 1875". Retrieved 2012-07-19.
  5. QCA Archive/Grounds (website)
  6. pp59-60, John Kay, Ashes to Hassett, John Sherratt & Son, 1951
  7. Match Records Cricinfo
  8. "Colin Milburn – An Indomitable Spirit | Cricket Features | Wisden Cricket Monthly". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 2012-07-19.
  9. Ashes tickets selling fast ESPN
  10. "Ashes: England break records in draw with Australia". BBC Sport. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  11. Cricinfo
  12. Behrent, Sue (2011). History of the Socceroos. Camberwell, Vic.: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780670074266.
  13. Newspaper report
  14. 2000 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 392.
  15. Pramberg, Bernie (2 May 2009). "Leo Donovan special guest at BRL celebrations". The Courier-Mail. Australia: Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
  16. 1909 Australia vs New Zealand Māori at Rugby League Project
  17. The Gabba at Rugby League Project
  18. "The history of the Gabba Greyhound Racing Club" (Web article). Just Racing.
  19. "Gabba (Brisbane Cricket Ground)". Austadiums. Retrieved 2012-07-19.
  20. AFL Tables - Gabba
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