The Queensland state government has announced plans to begin “market sounding” for a new entertainment arena in Brisbane that would have a capacity of up to 18,000.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement on Saturday, with public consultation to also start on the Precincts Delivery Strategy to transform Brisbane through the A$5.4bn (£2.8bn/€3.3bn/$3.7bn) Cross River Rail project.

The Brisbane Live arena would be located above the Roma Street railyards and the state government will now begin gauging interest in the project.

The Brisbane Development website reported that ASM Global and Live Nation have expressed an interest in building and managing the new complex. The Urban Developer website added that the arena would form part of a potential bid for Brisbane to host the summer Olympic Games in 2032.

Palaszczuk said: “We know that by unlocking under-utilised land in the heart of the city like Roma Street, we can leverage significant private sector investment and create jobs.

“Brisbane Live has the potential to deliver 450 jobs per year during construction, with 1000 jobs in the peak year and 600 ongoing jobs once operational.

“Everyone wants to see a new, world-class arena in the heart of Brisbane and through this strategy, the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority will now launch market sounding to attract the best concepts from the private sector.”

Roma Street is one of seven sites that was investigated as a potential location through the detailed business case development.

Kate Jones, Queensland’s Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for Cross River Rail, added: “Brisbane Live, a new world-class arena, is a great example of the new assets Brisbane could gain through this precinct strategy. Globally we know these types of venues next to a new underground high-capacity train station with connections to other public transport modes reinvigorate the entire area.”

The city currently has a 13,500-seat arena in the shape of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, which opened in 1986. Plans for a new arena in Brisbane first emerged in 2007 but the project has moved forward since becoming part of the Cross River Rail plan.

Image: Building Queensland