Gabba Pool at the Cricket


The Gabba appoints new grounds guru as Kevin Mitchell Jr. pulls up stumps
Mon 16 Oct, 2017

Cricket fans will see a new face behind the wheel of the heavy roller at The Gabba this summer, with David Sandurski appointed the new head curator.   

He will take over from legendary grounds manager Kevin Mitchell Jr. who will finish his 27 years tenure following the opening Test of the Ashes series, at The Gabba from November 23 to 27.

Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni said Mr Sandurski was perfect for the role. 

“Kevin Mitchell is an icon and certainly leaves some big shoes to fill, but I’m confident David will build on his success and continue to produce, maintain and present the world renowned, multi-use field of play that The Gabba has become famous for,” Mr de Brenni said.

“David has been head cricket curator at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the past 5 years and his experience at such a popular, highly regarded, mixed-use venue renowned for top class events like the Boxing Day Test make him perfect for the role” he said.

“Before the MCG he spent 12 years at Brisbane’s Allan Border Field, so he’ll certainly feel quite at home on the pitch at The Gabba.

“Fans will have the chance to farewell Kevin at the Ashes and I’m sure they will be excited to welcome David on-board during a huge season of cricket, with a One Day International and several Big Bash and Sheffield Shield matches, as well as the 2018 AFL season.”

David Sandurski said that whilst it was a difficult decision to leave the MCG, he welcomed the opportuning to return to Queensland with his family.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time at the Melbourne Cricket Club and will be forever grateful for the opportunity the club gave me,” Mr Sandurski said.

“I cut my teeth at Allan Border Field, starting as an apprentice and doing everything up to ground manager, a position I held for about four and a half years, so this role will be a homecoming of sorts.

“While I expect challenges like getting reacquainted with the warmer climate and humidity, as well as the multi-use nature of the venue, I’m confident my experience will hold me in good stead and I look forward to getting in there and ensuring The Gabba ground remains something to be proud of,” he said.  

“Thanks to Kevin and his father before him, The Gabba has become renowned for hard, bouncy pitches and of course there is a lot of pressure to get it right and make the best wicket I possibly can to ensure a good contest and I’m up for the challenge!”

The Gabba grounds manager Kevin Mitchell Jr said he was involved in the recruitment process from beginning to end and is extremely pleased to be handing over the keys to the heavy roller to David.

“The Gabba has been my home away from home for 33 years now and it was really important to me that I be involved in selecting someone we could trust to consistently meet the high standards required and do the grounds, the teams and the fans justice,” Mr Mitchell said.

“I’ve known David for 17 years and I know he is incredibly passionate about what he does and I’m very pleased to leave the grounds in his capable hands.”

The MCC and The Gabba are working collaboratively to ensure that neither venue’s Test matches are negatively impacted. It is expected that Mr Sandurski will join The Gabba team from Monday 20 November to assist with Test match preparations, and may be made available to the MCG to consult prior to the Boxing Day Test.


Media Contacts
Tristan Douglas (de Brenni) 0447 164 197
Stadiums Queensland 0472 878 519


Cricket Australia announces return of pool deck at the Gabba
Thu 05 Oct, 2017
Cricket Australia has today confirmed the return of the hugely popular Pool Deck at the Gabba for both the Magellan Ashes Test and the One Day International being hosted in Brisbane this summer.

The award-winning Pool Deck at the Gabba was one of the hits of last summer, with cricket patrons given the chance to enjoy international cricket in truly unique surrounds and images of fans relaxing in the cool comfort of the pool or the lounges on the decks shared around the country and around the world.
Gabba Guru to Retire After Ashes
Mon 21 Aug, 2017

The Gabba is on the hunt for a new head curator, with legendary grounds manager Kevin Mitchell Jr. set to retire after this year’s Ashes Test in November.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Mr Mitchell joined The Gabba in 1984 as an assistant curator, and is in his 27th year as grounds manager. 

Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni said Mr Mitchell would be a hard act to follow.  
“The name Kevin Mitchell Jr is synonymous with The Gabba and the pitches he curates are recognised as the best in the world, striking fear into the hearts of visiting cricket teams,” Minister de Brenni said. 

“To keep producing an absolute world class deck on a ground that is used all year round, takes a particular talent,” he said

“The impact Kevin has had on Australian and world Cricket is simply immeasurable. The next curator will have absolutely huge shoes to fill.

“I join all Queenslanders in wishing Kevin the best in his retirement after the Ashes this year.

“We are now on the search for someone who is passionate about what they do, someone who can produce, maintain and present a world class, multi-use field of play and keep the wicket at the highest standard for which it’s become renowned and emulate the success Kevin has achieved so far.”

The Gabba grounds manager Kevin Mitchell Jr said the stadium was full of fond memories. 

“In the ‘80s we had the really good West Indies teams touring with the likes of Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards and the big four fast bowlers and that was an eye-opener for me, I thought what a great place to work,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Then in 1995 we won our first Sheffield Shield final and that was really game-changing for Queensland cricket and then the Lions won their three premierships which was fantastic for the ground and for Queensland as well,” he said.

“Of course the Sydney Olympic pool of the soccer where stage five of the ground redevelopment was completed was a magnificent event where we hosted the eventual gold medallists Cameroon in a blockbuster.

“The Gabba is a famous, iconic, historic stadium and you feel that responsibility to create something that Queenslanders are proud of, you have to love the job, it’s a big part of your life.”

Mr Mitchell took on a part-time role in recent years, and said stepping back had allowed him to take on a mentor role to other staff. 

“I’d taken a step back from the physical side of work and engaged in more of a guidance role with the team to see out my contract while helping to recruit my successor,” Mr Mitchell said.

“I want to thank the Grounds Team for their continual efforts to meet the high standards required and maintaining the culture of having great pride in producing quality playing surfaces.”

The Gabba Manager Blair Conaghan said Mr Mitchell would leave a huge legacy at the venue. 

“Kevvie Mitchell has meant so much to The Gabba and his work on the playing surface has really been instrumental in a lot of our success as a venue,” Mr Conaghan said.

“It’s been a fantastic journey for him, from the days when it included the old greyhound track to its transformation into the more modern facility it is today and to consistently deliver over such a long period of time is an incredible achievement,” he said.

“Over the past few years Kevvie has worked really hard to pass on that knowledge and expertise to the rest of the grounds team and I’m confident we’ll attract a suitable candidate to help continue his legacy.”


Media Contacts
Tristan Douglas (de Brenni) 0447 164 197
Stadiums Queensland 0472 878 519


Gabba goes high-definition with new jumbo screen
Fri 09 Jun, 2017

AFL fans will welcome the largest ever recruit to The Gabba this weekend, with installation of a new jumbo screen completed today.

Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni said the screen, the first of two to be installed, was part of a $7 million project to deliver four new high definition LED screens to Suncorp Stadium and The Gabba. 

Adele to say 'Hello' to Queensland at The Gabba
Tue 15 Nov, 2016

Treasurer and Minister for Sport, Curtis Pitt, says Brisbane’s iconic sports stadium at The Gabba will host its first big live music concert since 1973 when chart-topping UK singer Adele performs there in March next year. 

Mr Pitt said Adele would say ‘Hello’ to Queensland fans for the first time when she performs on Saturday 4 March 2017. 

The English singer-songwriter has sold more than 100 million records globally thanks to chart toppers such as ‘Hello’ and ‘Rolling in the Deep’. 

“I’m told the Grammy-winner’s concert in March will be the first major concert at The Gabba since Aussie band Sherbet in 1973,” Mr Pitt said. 

“This will be one of the most anticipated concerts of the year and the first big concert at The Gabba with fans seated in the both the stands and on the field. 

“Being at The Gabba it would be fitting if Adele sang Sherbet’s Howzat, but I’m not sure that’ll happen unless it’s a duet with Daryl Braithwaite. 

“The concert will feature a circular stage so The Gabba was the obvious choice and with a 60,000 strong crowd predicted, around 24,000 people will be lucky enough to be right among the action, on the field. 

“The Gabba’s management has undertaken extensive due diligence consulting with engineers on the stadium structure, crowd management and safety, onsite facilities and traffic management and are confident they can host a concert of this scale.” 

Mr Pitt said big concerts such as Adele’s were not just musical events, but also delivered significant economic and employment boosts.

“Around 1,500 staff will come together on the night to make the show happen, from catering and hospitality staff to security and event operations,” he said. 

“We haven’t had a concert of this magnitude at The Gabba and I expect pubs and restaurants in the Woolloongabba precinct will benefit from a boost in patronage before and after the event. 

“Major concerts such as this bring significant benefits to Queensland, raising the profile of our state and injecting millions into the Queensland economy,” he said. 

Tickets go on general sale via (external site)on Monday 21 November, with pre-sale opportunities to be announced by the promoter. 

 Media contact: 0447 316 432 / 0419 945 546


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