Australian Rugby League Commission buys iconic Gambaro hotel and restaurant
Brisbane’s iconic Gambaro hotel and restaurant has been purchased by the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) for more than $25m with plans to turn it into a football themed venue.
The commission in a statement said the transaction represents its first investment to strengthen the game’s financial position and acquire assets that “protect the game and provide new revenues for reinvestment in the game.”
The hotel will be rebranded as the NRL and be themed with rooms named after the game’s legendary players.
The Gambaro Hotel on Caxton St will be rebranded after it was bought by the Australian Rugby League Commission.
“The ARLC has a focus on strengthening its balance sheet with stable, secure investments that provide steady income, long-term capital growth and to protect the game against major interruptions,” the statement said.
Comment has been sought from Gambaro managing director John Gambaro and ARLC chairman Peter V’landys.
The commission said the hotel is ideal for the National Rugby League as it is located 300 metres from Suncorp Stadium.
The venue hosts all Brisbane Broncos home games and from 2023 will host eight Dolphins home games.
With the expansion of the NRLW to 10 teams in 2023, Suncorp Stadium is set to host additional rugby league events from 2023 onwards.
The Gambaro family will continue to operate the food and beverage facilities to take advantage of their successful brand into the future.
The ARLC is understood to have struck a management agreement with the Gambaro family who have operated the premises for 60 years. The marketing agent was HTL Property who said in a statement the property was extensively refurbished in 2014.
The Gambaro property houses a 68-room boutique hotel with considerable upside potential and numerous options for expansion and development of ancillary facilities.
The Gambaro family initially put the hotel and the seafood restaurant on the market in 2019 to focus on the rollout of their expanding hospitality empire. The property was expected to be sold for up to $35m at the time.
The Gambaro name has been synonymous with the food and beverage trade in Brisbane since the 1950s when they opened a fish and chip shop on Caxton St. The Gambaro Seafood Restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel has been on the site since 1972.