USA Sevens
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USA Sevens
USA Sevens
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event2018 USA Sevens
SportRugby sevens
Founded2004
CEOJon Prusmack
Country16
Most recent
champion(s)
 United States
Most titles South Africa (4 titles)
TV partner(s)ESPN
Official websiteusasevens.com

The USA Sevens (also sometimes referred to as the Las Vegas Sevens) is a rugby sevens tournament held annually during the second weekend of February in Las Vegas in the United States. The USA Sevens is the largest annual rugby competition in North America, drawing over 60,000 fans, and is broadcast live in the United States by NBC and NBC Sports. The USA Sevens was introduced in 2004, and has been held at its current home, Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas every February since 2010. The USA Sevens tournament features 16 teams representing countries from every continent, including the host, the U.S. national team.

The USA Sevens is the fifth of ten tournaments on the Sevens World Series. The Sevens World Series is played throughout the world at nine other venues: Australia, Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, France, and London.

The United States plays Canada in the 2012 USA Sevens tournament

Format

The tournament consists of 16 countries participating in 45 matches over a three-day weekend. The 16 teams are divided into four pools of four teams, with seeding determined by finishes in the previous competition in the Sevens World Series. Wins are worth three points, draws two, and losses one. The top two teams from each group progress to the quarterfinals to compete for the Cup (places 1-4) and Plate (places 5-8). The bottom two teams from each group participate in the Bowl (places 9-12) and Shield (places 13-16) competitions.

Through the 2011-12 edition, the sixteen participating teams were the 12 "core" members of the Sevens World Series circuit, along with 4 additional qualifying teams--other teams that qualified multiple times during the 2009-2012 span included Japan, Canada, Uruguay and Guyana. Starting with the 2012-13 season, the number of core teams increased from 12 to 15, with Canada, Spain and Portugal earning the three new slots.

Popularity and Growth

The USA Sevens is the largest annual rugby competition in North America. The tournament has grown in popularity since the tournament began in 2004. In recent years, a number of events have accelerated the surge in popularity, including the announcement in 2009 that rugby would return to the Summer Olympics, the general growth of rugby in the United States, the improved performance of the U.S. national rugby team including their success in reaching the semi-finals of the 2009 USA Sevens, and NBC's decision to begin televising the tournament beginning in 2011.

Tournament attendance by year
Year Total
Attendance
Highest Day Ref
2010 36,600 [1]
2011 49,909 [2]
2012 64,107 30,112 [3]
2013 67,341 31,228 [4]
2014 68,608 31,664 [5]
2015 75,761 34,593 [6]
2016 80,138 35,716 [7]
2017 80,691 35,901 [8]
2018 70,000 30,000
The maximum capacity of Sam Boyd Stadium is 40,000.
Green shading represents record highs.

Attendance

Tournament attendance has grown rapidly since its inception in 2004. The tournament drew 15,800 fans in 2004,[9] 25,000 fans in 2007,[10] 35,773 in 2008,[1] and 37,000 fans in 2009.[11]

The tournament switched to a three-day format in 2011.[2] The 2012 tournament's second-day attendance of 30,112 set a new record for the largest crowd to watch a rugby event in the United States.[3] The 2013 tournament broke attendance records again, with total attendance of 67,341.[4] The 2014 tournament again saw record attendance, with 68,608 fans, despite the fact that the tournament had been moved to January to avoid the 2014 Winter Olympics.[5]

Media coverage

The profile and visibility of the USA Sevens has increased in the United States since NBC began broadcasting the tournament in 2011, marking the first time that the tournament had live television coverage on network TV in the United States. NBC Sports and Universal Sports broadcast eight hours of live coverage of the 2011 tournament, including 4 hours of coverage on NBC. NBC increased its television coverage for the 2012 tournament, showing 10 hours of live coverage, including 4 hours on NBC and 4 hours on NBC Sports.[12] The 2012 USA Sevens earned strong ratings of 0.7 on NBC, beating other popular sports events that weekend such as the Detroit v. Philadelphia NHL game (0.4) and the Alabama v. LSU basketball game (0.3).[13] NBC again increased its TV coverage in 2013, with 16 hours of coverage across three channels, including 4 hours on NBC and 6 hours on NBC Sports.[14] The 2014 USA Sevens drew ratings of 0.7 on Saturday and 1.0 on Sunday.[15] The 2016 USA Sevens had 7 hours of TV coverage across NBCSN and NBC, but only 1 hour on NBC.

NBC Sports has displayed an increased interest in broadcasting rugby since the International Olympic Committee's announcement in 2009 that rugby would return to the Summer Olympics in 2016.[16] NBC Sports has recognized that its partnership with USA Sevens to broadcast the tournament will help grow the sport of rugby in the United States.[17]

Sponsors

Fueled in part by the publicity generated by the NBC broadcasts and rugby's return to the Olympics, the USA Sevens has been successful in lining up several blue-chip corporate sponsors. For the 2011 tournament, sponsors included Bridgestone, Toyota, Subway and ADT.[16] The tournament was similarly successful in landing commercial sponsors for 2012, including Adidas, Pepsi, DHL, Subway and others.[18]

Effective with the 2010-11 series, the London-based global financial services company HSBC became the title sponsor of the overall IRB Sevens World Series.

Future

In 2017, the Oakland Raiders were given permission by the NFL to relocate to Las Vegas with the construction of a 60,000 capacity stadium on a plot of derelict land near Las Vegas Strip planned. Due to the fact that $750 million of the construction costs was expected to come in the form of public funding, a deal was thrashed out to allow the University of Las Vegas to move in as co-tenants of the new stadium. This meant that Sam Boyd Stadium faces an uncertain future with multiple sources suggesting that it would be demolished. In March 2018, United World Sports CEO Jon Prusmack stated his intention on initiating talks with the Raiders over the next few months to allow the USA Sevens to use the new Raiders stadium for future tournaments. [19]

History

The USA Sevens tournament has been a part of the Sevens World Series every year since its 2004 debut. This makes the USA Sevens tournament one of the longer running consecutive hosts on the circuit.

The USA Sevens debuted at Home Depot Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California in February 2004. This competition marked the first time the United States ever hosted an official IRB event of international importance. USA Rugby was awarded the right to host the USA Sevens for three years, in part because rugby was recognized as one of the fastest growing team sports in the U.S.[20]

In 2005, USA Rugby sold a 90% interest in USA Sevens, LLC to United World Sports, LLC, with USA Rugby retaining the remaining 10% ownership interest.[21] In August 2006, USA Rugby and the International Rugby Board renewed the contract for the USA Sevens to remain in the IRB Sevens World Series.

The USA Sevens tournament was held from 2007 to 2009 in San Diego at Petco Park, the home field of the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball. San Diego was an appealing location because the average high temperature in San Diego in February is a balmy 72 °F (22 °C).

Las Vegas then won the right to host the annual event beginning in 2010, beating out competition from San Francisco, Phoenix, and Orlando.[22] In 2015, World Rugby reached an agreement with USA Rugby and with the tournament's organizers: World Rugby would continue to place the USA Sevens tournament in Las Vegas if the tournament organizers agreed to widen the field at Sam Boyd Stadium and install approved artificial turf.[23]

Results

Results by year

Sources: USA Sevens, Rugby7[24]

Results by team

Team Champions Runners-up Semifinalists
 South Africa 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 2008 2009, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018
 Fiji 2007, 2015, 2016 2006, 2011, 2017 2012, 2013, 2018
 New Zealand 2005, 2008 2004, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 2007, 2011, 2017
 Argentina 2004, 2009 2005, 2018 ----
 Samoa 2010, 2012 2007 2008, 2013, 2014
 England 2006 2009 2005, 2011
 United States 2018 2009, 2015, 2016, 2017
 Australia 2016 2010
 Kenya 2008, 2010
 Canada 2014
 France 2007

Leading scorers

Leading Tournament Scorers
Season Tries Points
2004
2005 8-Tafai Ioasa (New Zealand) 61-Orene Ai'i (New Zealand)
2006 9-David Strettle (England) 59-Ben Gollings (England)
2007 6-(several) 56-William Ryder (Fiji)
2008 8-Chris Wyles (USA) & Victor Vito (NZ) 51-Ben Gollings (England)
2009 8-Viliame Waqasduadua (New Zealand) 48-Peni Rokodiva (Fiji)
2010 11-Mikaele Pesamino (Samoa) 55-Mikaele Pesamino (Samoa)
2011 10-Collins Injera (Kenya) 54-Cecil Afrika (South Africa)
2012 7-Cecil Afrika (South Africa) 44-Tomasi Cama (New Zealand)
2013 8-Lewis Holland (Australia) 52-Lewis Holland (Australia)
2014 6-Seabelo Senatla (South Africa) 48-Cameron Clark (Australia)
2015 7- Savenaca Rawaca (Fiji)
2016 11- Seabelo Senatla (South Africa)
2017 7 - Lachie Anderson (Australia) 39 - Ethan Davies (Wales)
2018 8 - Perry Baker (United States) 45 - Nathan Hirayama (Canada)

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Editorial: USA 7s Hit the Jackpot in Las Vegas", Rugby America, Ted Hardy, January 23, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Las Vegas Review-Journal, Rugby organizers set lofty goals for 2012, Dec. 31, 2011, http://www.lvrj.com/business/rugby-organizers-set-lofty-goals-for-2012-136471233.html
  3. ^ a b Kirvin Doak Communications, USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament Returns to Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas for Fourth Consecutive Year, Sep. 11, 2012, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-16. Retrieved .
  4. ^ a b Rugby Mag, Strong Crowds Harbinger of New Direction?, June 9, 2013, http://www.rugbymag.com/goff-on-rugby/8348-goffonrugby-strong-crowds-harbinger-of-new-direction.html
  5. ^ a b Rugby Mag, USA 7s Attendance Nudges Up Slightly Despite Obstacles, Ja, 26, 2014, http://rugbymag.com/tournaments-special/usa-sevens-tournament/10325-usa-7s-attendance-nudges-up-slightly-despite-obstacles.html
  6. ^ "Attendance Record Shattered at USA Sevens", Rugby Today, Pat Clifton, February 15, 2015.
  7. ^ Anker, Brett (6 March 2016). "Attendance Record Broken at Las Vegas 7s". www.rugbytoday.com.
  8. ^ Harrigan, Scott (8 March 2017). "80,691 Fans Filled Sam Boyd Stadium During the 2017 USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament in Las Vegas - ISN".
  9. ^ Rugby Mag, GoffonRugby: The Big Deal, Feb. 14, 2011, http://rugbymag.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=251:goffonrugby-the-big-deal&catid=96:goff-on-rugby&Itemid=292
  10. ^ Glasgow7s, IRB Sevens Set for Another Record Breaking Year, August 2, 2007, http://www.glasgow7s.com/latest-news/2008-news-archive/55-festival-of-rugby-enjoyed-by-all-at-edinburgh-7s
  11. ^ Las Vegas Review-Journal, USA Sevens rugby tournament ready to scrum in Las Vegas, Feb. 12, 2010, http://www.lvrj.com/news/usa-sevens-rugby-tournament-ready-to-scrum-in-las-vegas-84211412.html.
  12. ^ TV by the Numbers, 10 Hours of Live Coverage of HSBC Sevens Rugby This Weekend, Feb. 9, 2012.
  13. ^ Sports Media Watch, Weekly Sports TV Ratings, Feb 22, 2012, http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2012/02/weekly-sports-tv-ratings-february-11-february-17/
  14. ^ TV by the numbers, NBC, NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports Combine to Deliver More Than 16 Hours of USA Sevens Vegas, Feb. 7, 2013.
  15. ^ "TV Ratings for USA 7s Rise", Rugby Today, January 28, 2014.
  16. ^ a b Adweek, NBC Lines Up 4 Sponsors for USA Rugby Tourney, Feb. 8, 2011, http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/nbc-lines-4-sponsors-usa-rugby-tourney-125685
  17. ^ Inside the Games, Match timings switched as rugby sevens televised live across USA for first time, Jan. 21, 2011, http://www.insidethegames.biz/sports/summer/rugby-sevens/11712-match-timings-switched-as-rugby-sevens-televised-live-across-usa-for-first-time
  18. ^ USA Sevens Rugby, Leading brands have sponsorship in rugby, http://www.usasevens.com/las-vegas/event/sponsors/
  19. ^ Rybaltowski, Matt. "Fresh Off Stunning USA Sevens Win, Rugby Exec Encouraged By Potential Move to Raiders' New Stadium".
  20. ^ USA Rugby, TEAM ROC USA SEVENS Brings World Rugby Series to U.S., Jan. 28, 2004, http://web.usarugby.org/cgi-bin/viadesto/press/display.pl?releaseId=671
  21. ^ See USA Rugby December 31, 2010 Consolidated Financial Statements, available at www.usarugby.org
  22. ^ Las Vegas Review-Journal, EDITORIAL: Successful scrum, Jan. 29, 2014, http://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/editorial-successful-scrum
  23. ^ "Successful USA 7s, But What's Next?", Goff Rugby Report, Alex Goff, February 15, 2015.
  24. ^ "IRB Sevens V - Los Angeles, United States. 2/14/2004 - 2/15/2004". rugby7.com. 2004. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015.

External links


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