The Heat will play two matches at the stadium, which hosted the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, on top of five home games at the Gabba as part of the expanded 2018-19 KFC T20 Big Bash League.
There will be two double-headers at the Gabba with the WBBL Brisbane Heat as well in another first for the club.
The Heat will open BBL|08 at the Gabba when they host defending champions Adelaide Strikers on Wednesday 19 December in the first game of the competition, followed by back to back matches at Metricon Stadium against Hobart Hurricanes (Saturday 22 December) and a New Year’s Day clash with the Sydney Sixers.
In another first, the Melbourne Stars will also take a game to Metricon Stadium, hosting the Sydney Thunder on Saturday 5 January, to make it three BBL fixtures at the new venue.
The Heat averaged 33,000 fans at the Gabba last season, with 164,900 supporters attending the five home matches, including a record tally of 35,564 for the win over the Perth Scorchers.
As well as the opening match of BBL|08 against the Strikers, Brisbane will host the Melbourne Renegades, Sydney Thunder, Perth Scorchers and the Melbourne Stars at the Gabba.
Queensland Cricket Chief Executive Officer Max Walters said the Heat club would reach more fans than ever this summer with the addition of BBL matches at the Gold Coast and WBBL games in Mackay and Cairns.
“Growing the BBL and WBBL is a priority for cricket and we are confident the Heat can help deliver on this through our State-wide focus in taking matches to new markets and regions,’’ he said.
“Queensland Cricket and Cricket Australia have made a significant investment in the infrastructure at Metricon Stadium in partnership with the Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games, the City of Gold Coast and the Gold Coast Suns and we are delighted to confirm a three-year commitment to play Heat matches at the venue,’’ he said.
“The support from all stakeholders reinforces the BBL’s prominent place in the summer holiday period and we’re excited to promote the many attractions the Gold Coast has to offer for fans coming to enjoy our matches during peak holiday period.”
“The club will again have five matches at the Gabba, including two double-headers with the WBBL team, and will continue to provide world-class, family-friendly entertainment and attract new fans to enjoy the experience,” Walters said.
Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games Kate Jones said the announcement was a fantastic legacy from the Games.
“Our investment in sporting infrastructure at Carrara has ensured Metricon Stadium is now at the standard required to host elite cricket matches.” Ms Jones said.
“We invested in Metricon Stadium to bring world-class cricket to the Gold Coast because we know major events attract visitors, create jobs and grow the local economy.
“Not only will Gold Coast cricket fans and visitors get to see some BBL action this season, but Metricon will also play host to a T20 International match.”
Mayor Tom Tate said today’s announcement to include the Gold Coast in the Big Bash League was a clear indication of how far the city’s reputation had come in hosting major events.
“After successfully hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Gold Coast is now an internationally recognised world-class event destination.
“And although Metricon Stadium was upgraded in 2011, it has never hosted a cricket match. I am sure everyone will agree this superb venue is the ideal location for Big Bash cricket.”
Gold Coast Suns Chief Executive Officer Mark Evans said the club was delighted to partner with cricket.
"The Gold Coast Suns are thrilled to be hosting three BBL matches a year at Metricon Stadium over the next three years. This summer will see Metricon Stadium host an International T20 fixture between Australia and South Africa in November as well as Big Bash matches,’’ he said.
"Metricon Stadium is a world class regional multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue that has a proven track record of delivering outstanding events and experiences whether that be an AFL match, major international athletics meet, concerts and now Big Bash cricket."
The Heat will also make its inaugural appearances at Perth’s Optus Stadium as it plays 14 home and away games across the biggest BBL summer in the game’s history.
The BBL will be broadcast on Channel 7 and FOX Sports this season.
The schedule for the eighth season of the KFC Big Bash League (BBL) features a move to a full home and away fixture, making this the biggest BBL season yet. With 59 matches across 61 days from December to February, BBL|08 is set to offer even more family-friendly entertainment.
The action-packed BBL regular season has increased to 56 matches, up from 40 matches in BBL|07, in addition to the two Semi Finals and the Final.
In another first for the Heat, the WBBL and BBL squads will feature aligning sponsorship properties on their apparel.
Both teams will carry the logo of principal partner CUA on the front of their playing shirts this season with existing partners Betta Home Living and National Storage also having spots on the playing and training apparel for BBL|08 and WBBL|04.
Inaugural principal partner of the WBBL Heat, EPIC Pharmacy, is continuing as a sponsor of Queensland Cricket and will include branding on the coaching staff apparel for the WBBL Heat.