LAS VEGAS – The 2017 USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament set a record-breaking attendance of 80,691 throughout the three-day competition at Sam Boyd Stadium, March 3-5. For the first-time in the history of the HSBC Sevens World Series Las Vegas stop, the tournament added 12 international women’s sevens rugby teams to the roster resulting in 28 international teams competing in 79 matches throughout the three-day event.
“We continue to see record breaking attendance every year of the tournament, which is a clear indication that rugby is one of the fastest growing sports globally, but also nationally as well,” said Jonathan First, president of United World Sports. “When we first brought the event to Las Vegas in 2010, we attracted 36,600 fans and now we have more than 80,000 come out to support their countries and teams over the three day period. Rugby sevens debut in the 2016 Rio Olympics has had a significant impact on the growth of the sport, and with the addition of the women’s sevens series in Las Vegas, we are confident that we will continue to set attendance records in years to come.”
For the eighth consecutive year, North America’s premier rugby event showcased the growing popularity of the sport with daily crowds of 18,633, 35,901 and 26,157. In addition, the Las Vegas round was broadcasted live by NBC and NBCSN, bringing the tournament to more than 400 million homes in 147 countries.
With the addition of the women’s rugby sevens teams, fans witness 35 matches dedicated to the women’s series on Friday, March 3 and concluding on Saturday, March 4. New Zealand took the gold after beating 2016 Olympic gold medal champions, Australia, with a final score of 28-5. Following the match, the New Zealand team performed the Hakka on stage to celebrate their victory as fans cheered on.
The final day of the multi-day tournament concluded on Sunday, March 5 with Fijian national rugby sevens team defending their back-to-back title against South Africa. The timer ran out with South Africa claiming the gold with a 19-12 victory. Team USA took home the bronze after a 19-15 victory against New Zealand, the best place the team has taken in the history of the Las Vegas stop.
Coinciding with the tournament, attendees enjoyed the International Beer, Wine & Food Festival that provided an intercontinental experience with a combination of 46 global food and promotional vendors. In addition, a special performance by Harrah’s Las Vegas headliners TENORS OF ROCK on Sunday had the more than 20,000 people on their feet and singing along to the classic rock tunes.
The USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament is scheduled to return to Las Vegas in March 2018.