London Sevens targeting 100 000 fans

London Sevens, the penultimate event in this season’s IRB Sevens World Series, have announced record-breaking plans ahead of next month’s tournament.

In the wake of Rugby Sevens’ success in being admitted to the Olympic Games programme for 2016, and the sport’s continuing growth in popular appeal, the RFU is confidently targeting 100 000 fans over the two days, reports the IRB website.

“It would be a fantastic achievement if we could get there,” said the RFU’s business operations director, Paul Vaughan.

“Last year was a massive step forward on the year before – we ended up with 64 000 people coming through our doors – and it was a fantasic final from our point of view, England winning in extra time with the golden try and beating New Zealand.

“We had a lot of partying going on, it was big and noisy and people from all nationalities came out of the woodwork to support their team – a huge Kenyan contingent, Fijians and inevitably the guys from down under.”

So far tickets are selling well, certainly due to a greater emphasis on promotion through television advertising on SKY, and also doubtless as a result of the competitive pricing.

“Whereas for a Test match you might spend £85, for the Sevens you can buy a very cheap ticket and have a whole day of fun for as little as £10,” added Vaughan.

“You can wander in and out of the stadium and there’s lots of entertainment around that you don’t get at a 15-a-side game.

“We’ve learnt from Hong Kong, from Wellington, from Dubai and all these places around the world that have been doing it extremely well for donkeys’ years.

“We’re not blessed necessarily with the weather that they’ve got, but last year we got very lucky and the forecasters tell us that we’ve got a blazing summer on the way this year.

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