Commonwealth Games preparations are set to hit overdrive as organisers aim to deliver the greatest logistical challenge the city has seen - in a mere 90 days.
With exactly three months until more than 6000 athletes march into the GC2018 opening ceremony at Carrara Stadium, GOLDOC chief executive Mark Peters has shared an exclusive insight into the scale of the massive job that remains for his team.
Among many tasks:
- Seating for 60,000 spectators needs to be installed across the Games venues;
- About 300 temporary facilities have to be erected at the athletes village, including kitchens and medical centres;
- The hunt continues for last-minute backers to ensure GOLDOC reaches its almost $100 million sponsorship target; and
- Nearly 200,000 of the 1.2 million tickets to events remain up for grabs, the equivalent of filling Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium almost four times.
"We're 90 days out and there's a hell of a lot to be done but, as we keep saying, we're on time, we're on budget - but we're all tired," Mr Peters laughed.
"A lot has been done but we can't get complacent. We have to turn a lot around."
The city's 13 Games venues were all built ahead of schedule. Now the final transformation is on in earnest.
"It's a big build in terms of temporary overlay," Mr Peters said.
"That's our biggest challenge but all is going to plan … the public can see the venues (now) but they're all going to start to look a lot different.
"We've got 60,000 temporary seats going up across the venues and that's where some of the disruption will start (for residents)."
Additional grandstands are already rising at Carrara Stadium and Southport's Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, while work commenced this week at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre and Oxenford Studios.
"We have built in rain days so we're not behind on any of that overlay (due to this week's rain), which is reassuring," Mr Peters said.
Similar works will start at the Coolangatta beachfront on Monday, with Labrador's Gold Coast Hockey Centre and Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre to get their makeovers from later this month.
Mr Peters said GOLDOC's sponsorship target for the Games was $90-95 million and while he won't talk numbers, he concedes they still have work to do.
"It's been really successful … (but) we need more to reach our target," he said.
"I can't give you the figures because there are a number (of companies) we're talking to at the moment and we're obviously trying to push the numbers up."
Mr Peters said GC2018 had set a record for securing the most number of sponsors at 54.
The challenge is only five are lucrative Tier 1 sponsors, with GOLDOC chairman Peter Beattie having previously expressed his frustration with the four big banks' refusal to come on-board.
"There are still some discussions going on but we need to bring them to conclusions pretty quickly," Mr Peters said.
"We're getting close now so if a Tier 1 was to come on-board, they'd need to look at how they maximise their activation ... we are hopeful but not optimistic."
The village, which will be a home away from home for 6600 athletes, will actually open a week before the Games.
Mr Peters said before then more than 300 temporary structures had to be erected to house the likes of kitchens, medical clinics and warehouses, while up to 40 per cent of the athletes' rooms still needed to be fitted with furnishings such as cupboards and beds.
An incredible 1 million tickets have been sold for events. The catch is almost 200,000 remain unsold, including about 40,000 to track and field.
"This is not unusual," Mr Peters said.
"Some Games end up with a lot more available (at this stage) … we're absolutely on target budget-wise. We're not concerned at all. Our optimism on that front is achieving beyond budget.
"We know we're going to sell more closer to the Games."
NOT TO FORGET
Transport: "The Government has put measures in place for the M1 and keep telling us they'll have the number of trains and drivers (they need). So far they've delivered on what they've planned and we can only work to that basis."
Security: "We needed 4200 private security people ... we've achieved those numbers but will keep it open ... because there will always be an attrition rate. You train more people than you actually need."
Procurement: "We're up in the high 90 per cent area for contracts that have been signed or in final negotiations."
Extended liquor licences: "We've been supportive of that ... but it's outside our remit. We have no authority. We're just supportive of the Government's consideration."
Ceremonies: "(Discussions about some of the key acts) will go on for the next couple of months ... but we've had the basic format signed off by the international (Games) federation and they're excited about it."
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