Future Rugby sevens Gold Coast tournament will be rebranded for Sydney

http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/rugby/rugby-sevens-gold-coast-experiment-over-marquee-tournament-moves-to-sydney/story-fnii0ksb-1227100167896Via couriermail.com.au. The rows of empty seats at the recent Sevens Gold Coast were the tipping point to end the four-year gamble to establish the event outside a major city.

The poor crowd figure of 20,546 across two sunny days this month looked inflated and still represented only 36 per cent of capacity at Robina’s Cbus Super Stadium.

A rugby party of fun, frivolous fancy dress in the stands and fast-paced action had seemed a perfect fit for the Gold Coast to join Las Vegas, Hong Kong and Dubai as a rollicking destination for sevens.

Those who did show up in ballet dresses, Ninja Turtle bandannas and banana suits had a ball with high jinks in the stands and try-jinks on the field.

Unfortunately, too few did and the Gold Coast malaise which has chopped down basketball, football and rugby league clubs has another victim.

The tournament underperformed and this month’s total crowd turnout actually dropped by more than 10,000 on the 2012 figure.

It made it hard to justify paying the rising price tag on hosting one of the nine legs of the Sevens World Series which must have been a key consideration for major backers, Tourism and Events Queensland.

The Australian Rugby Union still bid for rights to host a tournament next year, a crucial piece in building interest for the debut of sevens at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The tournament will be rebranded for Sydney where the buzzing precinct around Allianz Stadium will build the mood in a way that Robina’s sterile surrounds never could.  Read more…

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