Brisbane's summer of live sport: What you need to see
Like Ben Cutting charging down the pitch to axe a full toss for six, another Brisbane summer is storming in fast and that means more live sport than you can poke a stick at. The Gabba, Suncorp Stadium and the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre are just a few of the venues in play, and the punters will be out in force. Check out our guide to what’s on, nab your tickets early and get ready – Brisbane’s summer of sport is going to be a ripper.
Cricket – Brisbane set for Ashes opener
The Gabba gets the honour of hosting the opening Test in the 2017/18 Ashes series against the old enemy England from 23-27 December. The ground has hosted many epic battles over the years and all indications are that this will be another exciting showdown as Steve Smith's men begin their quest to bring the Ashes back where they belong.
The Queensland Bulls' opening Sheffield Shield game will also be played at the Gabba, with the hometown heroes taking on the Victoria Bushrangers.
The Big Bash is also back and the Brisbane Heat’s first game of the tournament is at the Gabba against the Melbourne Stars. Home games follow against Sydney Thunder, Perth Scorchers, Hobart Hurricanes and Melbourne Renegades.
Allan Border field will host Women's Ashes warm-up one-day games between Australia and Queensland on 16 and 18 October, and then the first Ashes clash between Australia and England on 22 October.
To add to the atmosphere across this summer's cricket at the Gabba, the hugely popular Pool Deck will return after making its debut at last year's day-night Test against Pakistan. Lucky fans at the Ashes Test will be able to take a dip while enjoying a front-row seat for all the on-field action. It will remain in place for the Australia-England one-day international on January 19 and all of Brisbane Heat's home KFC Big Bash League matches.
Australia v England, First Ashes Test 23-27 December. Friday 19 January Australia v England ODI. Buy tickets here.
Heat home games: Wednesday 20 December v Stars, Wednesday 27 December v Thunder, Friday 5 January v Scorchers, Wednesday 10 January v Hurricanes, Saturday 27 January v Renegades.
Queensland Bulls home games: Tuesday 26 December v Victoria Bushrangers, Thursday 17 November v SA Redbacks, Wednesday 1 February v Tasmania Tigers, Thursday 16 March v Victoria Bushrangers
Australia v England, First Ashes ODI, 22 October at Allan Border Field
26 and 27 December v Sydney Stars at Allan Border Field, 14 and 15 January v Melbourne Renegades at Allan Border Field, 20 and 21 January v Adelaide Strikers at the Gabba
Basketball – Bullets imports Trice as good
The Brisbane Bullets have three new imports this season and the signs are promising that the talented American trio can propel last year's wooden spooners much higher up the NBL ladder this season. Travis Trice, Stephen Holt and Perrin Buford have all shown good early-season form, with brilliant point guard Trice already showing glimpses of what he has available in his bag of tricks.
Friday 20 October v Cairns Taipans, Brisbane Entertainment Centre; Thursday 26 October v New Zealand Breakers, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre; Saturday 28 October v Melbourne United, Carrara Stadium; Friday 3 November v Illawarra Hawks, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre; Sunday 12 November v Cairns Taipans, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre; Friday 17 November v Perth Wildcats, Brisbane Entertainment Centre; Sunday 3 December v New Zealand Breakers, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre; Saturday 23 December v Sydney Kings, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre; Sunday 7 January v Adelaide 36ers, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre; Sunday 14 January v Perth Wildcats, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre; Saturday 20 January v Melbourne United, Brisbane Entertainment Centre; Saturday 27 January v Adelaide 36ers, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre; Thursday 8 February v Illawarra Hawks, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre; Thursday 15 February v Sydney Kings, Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Tennis – One word: Rafa
The Brisbane International is on from 31 December to 7 January and heading up the men's draw is world No.1 Rafa Nadal. And if that's not exciting enough, world No.2 Andy Murray has also signed up for an Australian Open tune-up at the Queensland Tennis Centre. Add defending champion Grigor Dimitrov to the mix and the men's draw is wide open. Reigning women's champion Karolina Pliskova will also be back to defend her title. You’d be mad to miss the action - get ticket information here.
Soccer – The Roar take aim at title again
Former Ligue 1 star Eric Bautheac is expected to spark the Brisbane Roar's drive towards another A-League title. The dynamic Frenchman's arrival from Lille has been delayed by visa problems but the left winger is now available to provide attacking flair to the Roar after more than 170 games and 26 goals in the French elite competition. The Roar's attacking options have also been boosted by the addition of Italian marquee Massimo Maccarone, who marked his first home appearance with the opening goal against Adelaide United. Jump on board and get to Suncorp Stadium to cheer on the Roar at their home games. You can check out membership options here.
Brisbane Roar home games
Friday 13 October v Adelaide United, Sunday 22 October v Newcastle Jets, Sunday 5 November v Central Coast Mariners, Friday 17 November v Melbourne City, Saturday 9 December v Wellington Phoenix, Sunday 17 December v Melbourne Victory, Thursday 21 December v Perth Glory, Friday 5 January v Western Sydney Wanderers, Monday 8 January v Sydney FC, Thursday 18 January v Perth Glory, Sunday 4 February v Melbourne City, Saturday 24 February v Newcastle Jets, Saturday 3 March v Adelaide United, Saturday 31 March v Central Coast Mariners.
Rugby union – Brisbane Global Tens will be huge, but first there's the Bledisloe!
Some recent close shaves suggest the world champion All Blacks may have chinks in their armour, and at Suncorp Stadium on 21 October the Wallabies will be out to expose any weaknesses in the final Bledisloe Cup match for 2017. The All Blacks won the first two games to retain the silverware, but Wallaby diehards sense a real opportunity to at least claim a consolation win to round out this year's series. Buy tickets here. Once the Bledisloe fever has subsided, all eyes will be focused forward to the second biggest gathering of elite rugby players behind only the Rugby World Cup. After a hugely successful launch in 2017, The Brisbane Global Tens will be back again for two days of rugby heaven from 9-10 February. With 300 stars from all the Australian and New Zealand Super sides, plus Pacific heavyweights Fiji and Samoa, Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights and French powerhouse Pau taking the field, there will be no shortage of international talent on show.
Check out the full list of teams and ticket information here.
Australian baseball legend David Nilsson is back at the helm and has his sights set on championship number three. Nilsson has a knack for creating history and in 2017 is determined to go one further as Head Coach of the Brisbane Bandits. The first pitch of the 2017/18 season is just weeks away, with the Bandits opening their account at home against Canberra at Holloway Field on 16 November.
Brisbane Bandits home games
November 16-18 v Canberra, December 8-10 v Sydney, December 29-31 v Adelaide, January 11-13 v Melbourne, January 18-20 v Perth.
For those who like a touch of history with their sport, the Isuzu Queensland Open is a total treat. Over four days, golf fans can enjoy the understated brilliance of this PGA Tour of Australasia-sanctioned event. The 2016 trophy was taken out by an amateur that has since turned pro - will another underdog take out the title again this year?
Over five weeks from October to December, the best players and teams from around the world will descend on Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea for the Rugby League World Cup. Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium will play host to a semi-final match, which is sure to be a thrilling spectacle.
What to do after the game