Fans embrace festive inclusive culture while Rugby Canada sets sights on long term plan for growth.
March 12, 2017, Vancouver, BC – The 2017 HSBC Canada Sevens at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver came to a close Sunday evening, after once again electrifying fans, and firmly establishing itself as the real deal on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Setting yet another Canadian record for the largest ever rugby crowd in Canada with an attendance of 38,058 each day – for a total of 76,116 for the weekend. With a 26% growth in ticket sales in just one year, the future looks bright for the HSBC Canada Sevens in Vancouver.
“The 2017 HSBC Canada Sevens has delivered on the immense promise that the inaugural event created one year ago, showcasing the very best of what rugby is at its core – respect, camaraderie and inclusivity,” said Allen Vansen, CEO, Rugby Canada. “There are no shortcuts to success, and our Canadian men and coaching staff have showcased again this weekend that they have what it takes to be among the best sevens teams in the world. This event will continue to serve as an important catalyst for growth for rugby in Canada, and we are grateful to all of our partners and fans for their continued support and growing passion for the game.”
Sevens fever took hold early in the week, as 16 of the best men’s sevens teams in the world touched down at YVR for what is the 6th stop of the 2017 HSBC World Sevens Series. A total of 45 games were played over the two day event, beginning at 9:30am Saturday morning, and wrapping up with the final that took place Sunday evening between England and South Africa. England took home the Cup Trophy, with Fiji defeating the US for the bronze medal, and New Zealand defeating Argentina for 5th place. Canadian men delivered a strong performance before a passionate home town crowd, finishing 7th, and delivering another top 8 performance in three of the last four tournaments to advance their world ranking to 10th.
“We set out to raise the bar in 2017, with a goal of creating a uniquely Canadian experience, and we couldn’t be more grateful to the players who showcased such extraordinary athleticism and heart, and the passionate fans who brought the stadium to life for the second year in a row,” said Bill Cooper, CEO HSBC Canada Sevens. “What happened this weekend is truly a reflection of the infectious spirit that lives here, and looking ahead, we are committed to growing momentum to firmly establish the 2018 HSBC Canada Sevens as a signature Canadian event that draws fans from all around the world, and helps to position Canada as real force on the world rugby stage.”
In only its second year, Canada Sevens has captured the hearts of fans from near and far, with a noticeable increase of dressed up fans who have clearly embraced sevens’ unique and festive culture. While the majority of ticket purchases came from Vancouver and BC, tickets were purchased from almost every province and territory in Canada, as well as from 27 different states across the US, and from a total of 27 countries outside of North America.
“As the title sponsor of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens series, we couldn’t be more proud of the way that this year’s Canadian leg connected and welcomed rugby fans old and new, and the many communities and cultures that they represented with such pride,” said Sandra Stuart, President and CEO, HSBC Canada. “Thank you Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada, for being the gracious, generous and able hosts that you are, and congratulations on a highly successful event. We look forward to working at your side to build an even bigger and better 2018 HSBC Canada Sevens, while helping to grow the sport of rugby at all levels across Canada.”
“The HSBC Canada Sevens has been an outstanding success. To attract 76,000 spectators to a tournament that’s only in its second year and in a market where rugby is not the number-one sport is remarkable. I’d like to congratulate and thank our hosts, the First Nations of this region, Rugby Canada, the commercial partners and everyone involved for all their hard work. Also, credit goes to the people of Vancouver for supporting this tournament so enthusiastically and passionately,” said Bill Beaumont, World Rugby Chairman. “It is the hope of World Rugby that the HSBC Canada Sevens can push on from its early success and become a firm favourite among sports fans in Canada. It is already well on the way to establishing itself as one of the real highlights of the series.”
The Canada Women’s Sevens takes place May 27-28 at Westhills Stadium in Langford, B.C. Canadian women, who captured bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, are currently ranked 3rd in the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. Tickets to the Canada Women’s Sevens are available at www.canadasevens.com.