February 15, 2018, VANCOUVER, BC - Rugby Canada announced today that they will be bidding once again for the rights to host the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, from 2020 through to 2023.
As the 2018 HSBC Canada Sevens tournament enters into its third of 4 years in Canada, work is well underway to regain the rights from World Rugby to host the wildly successful event beyond the current hosting agreement, which expires in 2019. With less than a month to go before the 2018 HSBC Canada Sevens, organizers are encouraging fans to show their support for the event by filling BC Place Stadium on March 10th and 11th, and showcasing to the world that rugby in Vancouver is here to stay.
“The popularity of the global series is on the rise, and we know that there will be multiple bids around the world to host one of the ten stops on the global tour,” said Gareth Rees, Director, Program and Commercial Relations, Rugby Canada and Co-Chair of the original HSBC Canada Sevens Bid Committee. “The Canada Sevens tournament over the past two years has served as a huge catalyst for the growth of rugby in Canada, and we will be pulling out all the stops to gain the rights to host right through to 2023, so we can continue to raise the profile of rugby in Canada, increase participation, and drive revenue that supports all Rugby Canada programming, from grass roots right through to high performance.”
The global series statistics paint an impressive picture. A global audience of 600,000 in venue spectators, 900 million in broadcast, and 5 million in digital broadcast for a total of 4,500 hours of coverage, reaching 149 countries and 390 Million homes world-wide.
“With greater demand than ever for a coveted stop on the World Sevens Series, it will be critical to demonstrate to World Rugby that there is a strong appetite in Vancouver for this event,” said Jamie Levchuk, Managing Director, HSBC Canada Sevens. “We are nearly 90% sold at this point, and are pushing hard to ensure we showcase a fully sold stadium next month, to deliver the best possible experience for both fans and athletes alike.”
Since its debut in Vancouver in March of 2016, the Canada Sevens tournament has drawn record breaking audiences year over year, and has had a significant economic impact on the region. Over the past two years, the tournament drew more than 136,000 fans over the 4 days of competition, and directly booked more than 2,300 hotel room nights per year for teams, officials, staff, and volunteers. Last year alone, the spending of out of town spectators at the 2017 HSBC Canada Sevens, in combination with the expenditures made by the organizers in hosting the event, supported an estimated $24.5 million in economic activity in BC.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to welcome the World Rugby Sevens Series to Canada and British Columbia once again,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “B.C. is second-to-none in international sport hosting. I’m thrilled this tournament is coming to B.C., providing a great opportunity for rugby fans of all ages to see world-class athletes and inspire the next generation of athletes, coaches and sport fans.”
The Canada Sevens tournament is an important element of Rugby Canada’s long term vision for growth – serving as a unique platform to engage with Canadians and fans from around the world, while raising the profile of the sport and the athletes, and generating revenue to support Rugby Canada programming. The tournament also provides the opportunity to create a signature annual event in Canada’s entertainment calendar that showcases and ignites the City of Vancouver in an epic weekend of sport and celebration.
“Vancouver has a strong legacy of hosting exceptional sporting events and I have no doubt we will continue that tradition if we’re successful in our bid to host the Canada Sevens for another four years,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Vancouver sports fans love their rugby and we’re ready to welcome the best players in the world back to our city. I’m proud of the work we’ve done over the last few years to more fully engage our local First Nations as event hosts, and, if our bid is successful, I look forward to continuing this work over the next four years.”
“The HSBC Canada Sevens has been an incredible success story for Vancouver and British Columbia, supported by local businesses, government, and record numbers of fans who bring the stadium to life in extraordinary ways,” said Graham Ramsay, Senior Director, Business for BC Place. “We are thrilled to once again partner with Rugby Canada in the bid to bring rugby sevens back to Canada’s home stadium for another four years.”
The bid is due to be submitted to World Rugby, the international governing body of rugby union, at the end of February, and Rugby Canada expects to hear back on their submission in the early summer. Besides Vancouver, current host cities for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series through 2019 are Dubai, Cape Town, Sydney, Hamilton (NZ), Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Paris.
The 2018 HSBC Canada Sevens, featuring 16 of the top rugby sevens national teams in the world, runs March 10 and 11that BC Place Stadium.
About Rugby Canada
Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of rugby union in Canada. Rugby Football has a long history in Canada dating back to its initial appearances in the 1860s. Since 1974, Rugby Canada has been a permanent fixture on the global rugby scene, including trips to each of the eight men’s Rugby World cups and seven women’s Rugby World Cups. As a regular on the men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game.
To support the growth of rugby at the grass-roots level and to ensure there are elite programs prospering young rugby players to become involved, Rugby Canada has put an emphasis on developing its junior programs. Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Japan, 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in USA and 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
About HSBC Canada Sevens:
HSBC Canada Sevens is a two-day indoor rugby sevens tournament, hosted March 10–11, 2018 at the world-class BC Place Stadium, host venue to Canada’s most prestigious events, and will feature 16 of the world’s top men’s sevens teams. The HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver will be the sixth stop in a 10-stop world tour as part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Sevens rugby, a fast-paced and shorter version of traditional rugby with only seven players per side, has built a huge international audience through the success of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, which attracts large audiences in markets around the world. The 2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series kicked off November 30th in Dubai, and the full ten-stop tour schedule of the 2018 Series can be found at www.worldrugby.org/sevens-series.
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