Marley Brown Oval in prime condition prior to the NRL match between Gold Coast Titans and Manly Sea Eagles.
Marley Brown Oval in prime condition prior to the NRL match between Gold Coast Titans and Manly Sea Eagles.

Gladstone’s 10,000 seat sporting, concert, festival complex

A national level sporting and outdoor event facility could soon be a reality in Gladstone after council engaged a planning firm to prepare a master plan for the entire Marley Brown Oval complex.

Officially known as the Gladstone Coal Exporters Sports Complex, the facility, which has hosted everything from NRL and rugby games, to junior sports carnivals and music concerts, is being expertly designed by Otium Planning.

The upgrades have been on the radar of council for several years since $100,000 was allocated to develop ‘a master plan’, but processes take time until it is shovel ready.

Manly's Martin Taupau during the NRL Round 5 Gold Coast Titans v Manly Sea Eagles match at Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone in 2018.
Manly's Martin Taupau during the NRL Round 5 Gold Coast Titans v Manly Sea Eagles match at Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone in 2018.

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Gladstone region Mayor Matt Burnett said the plans involved increasing crowd capacity to about 10,000 to provide the region with a facility capable of hosting sport, concerts and festivals.

Council will soon engage with stakeholders, including facility users and the public, about upgrading the complex.

“Gladstone has hosted the Jason Hetherington Gary Larson Cup for over 10 years, attracting nearly 30 teams to the three-day carnival, so it’s important that any facility plans for Marley Brown Oval not only allow the hosting of NRL games or other sporting codes, but also improve Gladstone’s capacity to host carnivals and play field sports during the season,” Cr Burnett said.

“Plans to upgrade the facility will include extending the crowd capacity up to or about 10,000

people, ensuring an easy transition from day-to-day operations to hosting an NRL game, extending the facility’s capacity to host regional carnivals, and providing Gladstone with a venue for large outdoor events such as concerts and festivals.

“Redevelopment of the facility will help attract large-scale events to the Gladstone and Central

Queensland region, while providing stimulation to the local economy and enhancement our region’s economic prosperity and diversity.”

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Queensland Reds vs Melbourne Rebels at Marley Brown Oval in 2020.
Queensland Reds vs Melbourne Rebels at Marley Brown Oval in 2020.

Cr Burnett said the next step for the project included the preparation of revised concept plans and the development of a business case to consider whole-of-life costs, risks and benefits and options prior to seeking funding and development of the project.

“Stakeholder engagement with facility users is a major component of the business case and explores how day-to-day facility use can align with major event transition,” Cr Burnett said.

“Feasibility will also be a major aspect for the successful advancement of the project as financial investment and funding is still required to bring the project to a shovel ready state.”

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