The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be a defining moment in the Gold Coast’s history.
Unlike many other former host cities, the Gold Coast is within budget and ahead of schedule in delivering facilities which will provide a lasting legacy for future generations.
Capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne are already known internationally as major sporting locations and the Gold Coast has now joined that list.
In the future, the Gold Coast will also boast a range of new and upgraded facilities capable of hosting more world class sporting events.
The Coast has long been utilised as a training location by a multitude of world class athletes keen to take advantage of its bio-diversity and favourable climate year round.
The city has previously hosted major international competitions including the Pan Pacific swimming championships and triathlon world championships.
Over the next decade the Gold Coast is expected to attract an increasing number of major sporting events and conferences at new or redeveloped facilities.
Former Australian swimmer Andrew Baildon, who sits on three Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games committees including the athlete advisory board which he chairs, said he had a close interest in ensuring the future of Games facilities.
“As a born and bred Gold Coaster, I am extremely passionate about legacy issues and maximising the use of Commonwealth Games facilities for the benefit of the community in future,” he said.
“The Gold Coast has a perfect sporting climate and now we are going to have world class venues which are already being booked out for international events like the world lawn bowls championships after the Commonwealth Games.”
He said all the venues, whether newly built or upgraded, would benefit – not just from sporting events but also conferences which could be held at some of the locations.
“Over the past three years there has been a confidence in the city with major developments, not all related to the Commonwealth Games, and that will continue after 2018,” Baildon said.
“Community infrastructure such as the Commonwealth Games village – those units will become available on the market in a gradual and timely manner as not to flood the market.
“There is a lot of strategy involved in how those units are released onto the market to meet the needs of an ever growing population.”
The Gold Coast has won the right to host one of Australia’s biggest ever business events with more than 8,000 employees from a Chinese company due to visit the city in 2018.
The week-long business event is expected to generate more than $50 million for the region thanks to the collaborative efforts of Gold Coast Business Events, Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Australia.
There has been a resurgence of confidence in the Gold Coast economy fuelled by domestic migration and a buoyant tourism industry.
The property market has boomed in 2016 thanks to Chinese and interstate spending and an improved economic outlook leading up to the Commonwealth Games.
Fifteen months out from the start of the XXI Commonwealth Games on April 4, 2018, the organising committee has been handed a positive report card from the international Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
The review was complimentary of the pace of planning, organisational readiness, community engagement, security, legacy and progress of venue construction and quality of facilities.
“This latest report card from the CGF confirms once again that we are Games-ready,” the Queensland Government’s Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.
He said the $320 million Games venues program was on time and on budget, with all competition venues on track to be delivered at least 12 months ahead of the Games.
“In the past year I have opened several world-class facilities, including the $15.5 million Village Roadshow Sound Stage 9, $40 million Coomera Indoor Sports Centre and $59 million Anna Meares Velodrome,” Hinchliffe said.
“The Velodrome was described by CGF Vice President Bruce Robertson as an incredible investment in the community and the future of cycling in Queensland.
“Upgraded venues, including the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre and Broadbeach Bowls Club, are also complete.
“It will also leave a lasting legacy of world-class sporting and community infrastructure, and attract elite athletes and world-class events to Queensland for decades to come.
“GC2018 will be a defining moment for the Gold Coast, Queensland and Australia.”
COMMONWEALTH GAMES VENUES
Coomera Indoor Sports Park (Completed) | Gymnastics, Netball finals
The centre was the first of three new competition venues to be opened in August 2016 – 18 months ahead of the Games. It is an important piece of community infrastructure for one of the Gold Coast’s fastest growing regions. This new multi-purpose facility accommodates a range of community facilities and indoor sports such as netball, soccer, gymnastics and basketball. The venue has been designed to world-class competition standards with potential for elite training and competition use. Key features of the venue design include a gymnastics arena and eight mixed-use sports courts.
Anna Meares Velodrome (Completed) | Track Cycling
The velodrome was opened in November 2016. It is located alongside the Brisbane Super X BMX track and will provide a new centre of excellence for cycling in Queensland. As Queensland’s first indoor velodrome, this new world class facility will attract elite training squads and competition events to further the development of cycling in Queensland.
It will be more than a track cycling facility with the in-field area able to cater for a range of additional sport and recreation uses.
Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre (Construction underway – Completion early 2017) | Badminton, Powerlifting, Weightlifting, Wrestling
Revitalisation of the Carrara Sports Precinct will provide new and upgraded facilities for a range of elite and community sporting groups. The work includes construction of the new Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre as well as upgrades to Carrara Stadium and Carrara Indoor Stadium. Construction on the new Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre commenced in early 2015. The vision for the precinct is to create a vibrant and engaging venue space that will attract events long after the Games.
Sound Stage 9, Village Roadshow Studios, Oxenford (Completed) | Boxing, Squash, Table Tennis
The studio will host the squash competition on demountable glass courts, and contribute millions to Queensland’s film and television industry after the Games. It has already attracted a number of big-budget blockbusters each creating hundreds of jobs and contributing to the local economy.
Broadbeach Bowls Club (Completed) | Lawn bowls
A major upgrade to the bowls club was completed in May 2016. It is recognised as one of Australia’s leading bowls venues, attracting major championships to the Gold Coast. Upgrades included improvements to the four international standard greens and building upgrades to the clubhouse and surrounds.
Gold Coast Hockey Centre (Construction underway – Completion early 2017) | Hockey
The upgrade will provide the Gold Coast with a world-class hockey facility catering for elite training and competition as well as community use. Key features include the realignment of two synthetic pitches to meet international competition requirements and major refurbishment of a shared clubhouse facility, including permanent seating overlooking the pitches. Construction started in February 2016. A third hockey pitch was constructed at the Sports Super Centre at Runaway Bay to be used as a training venue for the Games.
Gold Coast Aquatic Centre (Completed) | Diving and Swimming
The $41 million redevelopment of the Southport pool complex, originally developed in the 1960s, has provided the Gold Coast with a world-class swimming and diving facility. Construction was completed in June 2014, and was the first venue delivered for GC2018. It played host to the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. Among the new facilities is a new 10-lane 50 metre competition pool, refurbished training and diving pools and a new gymnasium. The venue also boasts a range of community facilities including a new learn-to-swim pool, children’s play pool, crèche, café and function rooms.
Nerang Mountain Bike Trails (Construction underway – Completion early 2017) | Cycling – Mountain Bike
The mountain bike events for the Games will be held in the Nerang National Park with the start and finish located at the Gold Coast Cycle Centre. The project includes a new mountain bike trail in the National Park as well as refurbishment works at the Cycle Centre which were completed in July 2016. The project has delivered upgrades to the clubhouse, improvements to car parking facilities and visitor access, a new amenities block and a new spectator viewing platform that overlooks the existing outdoor velodrome. The mountain bike trail will meet international requirements and commenced in September 2016.
Belmont Shooting Complex (Construction underway – Completion early 2017) | Clay Target, Full Bore, Pistol, Small Bore shooting
The $16.5 million project includes a range of permanent upgrades and temporary facilities to meet international competition requirements. Construction started in June 2016.
Carrara Stadium (Construction underway – Completion early 2017) | Athletics, Opening ceremony, Closing ceremony
Carrara Stadium is a world-class venue and will benefit from permanent lighting and technology upgrades. The three new multi-use Southern Sports Fields will accommodate a range of community uses including soccer, football and school carnivals. Other facilities will include outdoor lighting, car parking, access roads, public amenities and a shared clubhouse facility.
Carrara Indoor Stadium (Construction underway – Completion early 2017) | Badminton, Powerlifting, Weightlifting, Wrestling
Refurbishment of this multi-purpose indoor venue will extend community usage of the facility for the next 20 years and beyond. The project will deliver upgraded spectator seating, technology upgrades, new internal and external cladding, and a new roof.
The following venues will host sporting competitions but do not require major upgrades.
• Southport Broadwater Parklands (Marathon, Race Walks, Triathlon)
• Robina Stadium (Rugby 7s)
• Elanora/Currumbin Valley (Road cycling)
• Coolangatta Beachfront (Beach Volleyball)
• Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (Basketball Finals, Netball Preliminaries)
• Cairns Convention Centre (Basketball preliminaries)
• Townsville Convention Centre (Basketball preliminaries)
The Commonwealth Games Village will be one of the most significant legacy projects of Gold Coast 2018. The project will include 1252 apartments and townhouses across 18 buildings and will provide accommodation and services to 6600 athletes and officials during GC2018.