The sport of rugby and city of Las Vegas are proving to be a perfect match after the 2012 USA Sevens international rugby tournament broke all previous attendance records in its third year at Sam Boyd Stadium.
The three-day tally of 64,551 rugby fans was a significant increase in attendance from the 2011 USA Sevens. A crowd of 30,323 on Saturday, Feb. 11 was the largest crowd to ever attend a live rugby match in the United States. Attendance was 10,611 on Friday, Feb. 10 and 23,617 for the semifinals and finals matches on Sunday, Feb. 12.
“We brought USA Sevens to Las Vegas because there was a feeling this city was the perfect international backdrop for our diverse fan base,” said A. Jon Prusmack, owner and CEO of USA Sevens LLC. “Ten years ago, when we took over operations of the tournament, we had a vision to grow rugby in the United States. This weekend’s record-breaking attendance figures prove that vision has become a reality.”
Those who made the trip to Sam Boyd Stadium for USA Sevens were given the chance to enjoy 45 rugby matches during the three-day competition as 16 international teams battled for points in the HSBC Sevens World Series. After a thrilling championship match, which came down to the final play, the team from Samoa emerged as the champions with a 26-19 victory over New Zealand.
Additional activities for attendees at Sam Boyd Stadium included the three-day fan festival outside of the stadium, the USA Sevens women’s series matches and the Las Vegas Invitational amateur tournament presented by Station Casinos.
“Our entire organization is ecstatic with the fans’ reception of our event in Las Vegas,” said Jonathan First, president of USA Sevens. “We promised our fans world-class rugby competition and an unforgettable international party experience. That’s exactly what we delivered. The atmosphere was unbeatable throughout the weekend, and the passion each nation’s fans showed for their teams proved that rugby crowds are some of the best in sports today. Once someone attends a USA Sevens rugby event, they truly become a fan for life.”
In between the days of rugby action at Sam Boyd Stadium, fans were able to check out a multitude of events throughout Las Vegas at Caesars Entertainment and Station Casinos properties. Events included an international beer festival, reggae bash, autograph signings with the competing nations and the official wrap party on Sunday night.
For those fans unable to attend the tournament, they were able to watch live action on Saturday and Sunday on NBC, NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports Network.
About USA Sevens Rugby
The USA Sevens international rugby tournament in Las Vegas was the fifth of nine stops on the 2011-12 HSBC Sevens World Series. The three-day tournament was the only North American stop for the Sevens World Series. The premier rugby tournament in North America, fans saw 16 national teams play 45 matches during the three-day competition in an attempt to gain points in the Sevens World Series standings.
Played on the same size field as traditional 15-player rugby, sevens rugby is played with just seven players per team. Matches have seven minute halves with two minute intervals for pool and knock-out matches. The fast pace and short duration of matches makes every moment of the action thrilling for spectators.