Going for Gold in 2018

For the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, the Queensland government is underwriting a net A$1.1bn (£0.75bn) investment in the redevelopment of its Parklands area into a residential and commercial precinct; accelerating community and sports facilities on the Gold Coast; and upgrading transport systems. Spending on these projects is projected to generate an A$2bn (£1.38bn) economic benefit and generate up to 30,000 full time equivalent jobs. In this feature, MEI takes a closer look at the venues that will be utilised for the event….

The Commonwealth Games Infrastructure Authority’s (CGIA) aim is to achieve a simple, sensible, coordinated approach to developing infrastructure for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The CGIA will facilitate the planning and development of essential major infrastructure projects such as the Athletes Village at Parklands and the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre upgrade, by providing advice and performing delegated functions such as planning and assessment.

In relation to the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, the government is examining the possibility of accelerating the upgrading of the facility, in partnership with the Gold Coast City Council, to host the 2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. Irrespective of the outcome of these deliberations, the centre will be upgraded well before the 2018 Commonwealth Games and aquatic events will be held on the Gold Coast.

In relation to shooting, the former Gold Coast City Council has endorsed the use of Belmont Shooting Centre (in Brisbane) given its capacity to host multiple shooting disciplines. This represented significant financial savings rather than develop shooting facilities on the Gold Coast.

In relation to cycling and a velodrome, the government examined the history of the financial viability of such facilities around Australia. It was found that a velodrome on the Gold Coast would have had significant ongoing operational costs for the Gold Coast City Council. It was therefore agreed by all parties that a velodrome at Chandler in Brisbane as part of a state cycling centre as advocated by Australian and Queensland Cycling would be the most cost effective option.

In relation to basketball and gymnastics, the former council was asked whether the Gold Coast needed another sport and entertainment centre (8,000 to 10,000 seat capacity) that could be used to host Commonwealth Games gymnastics and the basketball. The council undertook a study and informed the bid company that no such facility was needed and signed off on the final facility plan that saw gymnastics in a relocatable facility on the Gold Coast and basketball preliminary rounds being conducted in Townsville and Cairns.

Gold Coast 2018 Venues




The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre will host both the Netball competition and be home to the Main Media Centre. The Centre provides an ideal venue for the Netball competition with a capacity of 5,000 spectator seats. The Main Media Centre will be located in the exhibition area of the venue and is ideally located close to the Broadbeach accommodation, retail and entertainment precinct with good access to the competition venues.


The Main Media Centre will comprise the International Broadcast Centre at ground level and a Press Centre on a temporary mezzanine level within the Centre. The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre has 1,400 undercover car park spaces and boasts the latest in wireless technology.


The Lawn Bowls competition will be held at the Broadbeach Bowls Club. The venue currently has four greens for competition purposes and will be upgraded to meet the competition requirements of the Commonwealth Games Federation and World Bowls Ltd. In competition mode the venue will provide seating for 2,500 spectators. The Bowls main club house building will undergo major refurbishment for the Games to ensure the highest quality services and facilities.

Southport Broadwater Parklands

The Southport Broadwater Parklands will provide a unique hub for a variety of sports throughout the Games.


At the northern end of the Parklands a temporary venue will be constructed. The venue is designed to seat a minimum of 7,500 spectators to accommodate the sport of Gymnastics and to host either the finals of the Basketball or Netball competition. Following the Games and due to its modular capacity the venue will be deconstructed and relocated to provide for a variety of community activities within Gold Coast City providing a valuable legacy for the Gold Coast City community.


Moving south along the Southport Broadwater Parklands the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre will undergo a major redevelopment to provide for both the Swimming and Diving elements of the Games sports programme. Redevelopment will include the construction of a new 50 metre, 10 lane swimming pool for competition purposes, while the existing 50 metre pool will become the warm up pool in Games mode. Seating for 10,000 spectators (swimming) and 2,500 spectators (diving) will be provided on a temporary basis for the Games. In legacy mode this venue will include additional change rooms, meetings rooms, permanent seating for 1,000 spectators and the flexibility for Gold Coast City Council to incorporate a variety of community sport and leisure activities.


South of the Aquatic Centre and still in the Southport Broadwater Parklands will be the sites for the start and finish of the Marathon event, Road Walks and Triathlon. The Southport Broadwater Parklands will also be the location for one of the Games’ live sites where people can visit and watch the action on the screens provided while enjoying the atmosphere of the Games.



The recently completed Carrara Stadium, home to the city’s Australian Football League team, Gold Coast Suns currently accommodates up to 25,000 spectators. This venue will be enhanced with temporary seating to provide for 40,000 spectators in Games mode. The venue will host the Opening and Closing ceremonies for the Games and the Athletics competition. To facilitate the athletics programme a temporary track will be located within the main stadium and a new track with associated facilities will be constructed adjacent to the main stadium as the warm up track for the Games. The warm up track will remain as a permanent legacy for Gold Coast City community and will become the city’s premier athletic facility.



A new indoor sports venue will be constructed to host the Badminton competition at Carrara. The venue will be located near the athletics warm up track and will accommodate 2,500 spectators. The Carrara Sport and Leisure Centre will replace the current indoor sports facility and provide a valuable legacy venue for Gold Coast City providing for elite competition and training as well as community sports groups.


The Robina Stadium (Skilled Park) will host the Rugby 7s competition. The stadium requires minimal overlay to meet the competition needs of the International Rugby Board. The stadium has a current capacity of 27,400 spectators and is considered one of the best regional stadiums in Australia. It is well equipped with multiple player change rooms and corporate, hospitality and media facilities.

Coomera – Coomera Sport and Leisure Centre

A new indoor multi-sport sport and leisure facility will be built at Coomera and will host the Wrestling at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. In Games mode the venue will accommodate the event requirements and include spectator seating for 2,500. The Coomera Sport and Leisure Centre aligns with the Gold Coast City Council’s long term planning and will be a permanent legacy for the community.


Oxenford – Village Roadshow Studios

The existing sound stages of the Village Roadshow complex at Oxenford will play host to the sports of Boxing and Table Tennis. During Games mode the venue will be enhanced to provide for the International Sporting Federation technical venue requirements and provide spectator seating of 3,000 (boxing) and 3,200 (table tennis). The use of this unique facility provides a very cost effective means of delivering the respective Games competition venues for these sports and maximises the use of existing infrastructure in Gold Coast City.

Runaway Bay - Runaway Bay Sport and Leadership Excellence Centre

The existing Runaway Bay Sport and Leadership Excellence Centre will be upgraded and extended to host the Squash and Weightlifting competitions. A permanent extension of the current squash facility will incorporate six single and four double courts. A show court for finals matches will also be provided for the Games with temporary seating for 3,000 spectators. The extended venue will become a permanent legacy for the residents of Gold Coast City.


Located adjacent to the Runaway Bay Sport and Leadership Excellence Centre a temporary venue for Weightlifting will be constructed. The venue will meet the technical event requirements of the International Weightlifting Federation and provide seating for 2,500 spectators.



The existing home of the Gold Coast Hockey Centre at Keith Hunt Park, Labrador will be upgraded to host the Hockey competition for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The redevelopment of the venue will provide for three all-weather synthetic pitches and will include seating for 5,000 spectators. The redevelopment will establish the Centre as Queensland’s premier Hockey venue, providing a valuable, world-class competition and training venue for current and future athletes and the Gold Coast City community.

Hinze Dam

Hinze Dam will be the location for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Mountain Bike competition. A new course will be constructed to meet international competition requirements with temporary seating for 2,000 spectators. In legacy mode the venue will provide a valuable community asset for international, national and local riders.


The Elanora / Currumbin Valley area will provide a picturesque location for the Road Racing elements of the Cycling programme. Commencing and finishing at the Merv Craig Sporting Complex the road race looped circuit provides for a range of areas where spectators will be able to view the event.


Track Cycling will be held at the Sleeman Sports Complex, Chandler where a new indoor cycling velodrome (Queensland State Velodrome) will be built. The Velodrome will seat 4,000 spectators in Games mode and will remain as a permanent legacy with reduced seating capacity for the sport of cycling following the Games.


Clay Target, Pistol, Small and Full Bore Shooting disciplines for the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held at the Belmont Shooting Centre. The Centre provides a unique opportunity to host all disciplines on one site and will be upgraded to meet the requirements of the International Shooting Sport Federation for the conduct of the Games events. In Games mode seating will be provided for 3,000 spectators.

Regional Areas of Cairns and Townsville

The preliminary rounds of the men’s and women’s Basketball competition will be held at the Cairns Convention Centre and the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre respectively. Both Centres offer seating capacity for up to 5,000 spectators and are currently home to the Cairns Taipans and the Townsville Crocodile, National Basketball League teams.

Source: Gold Coast 2018 Organising Committee

Additional information