7s Crowds

Camquin

Rugby Club Member
#1
Wellington crowd looked almost non-existent.
Watching the end of the pool stages the Sydney crowd looked thin, though the commentator did say it had been bigger earlier in the day.

Is it time to move location.
Say Auckland, Melbourne, Manchester.
 

Ian_Cook

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/newzealan
#2
Wellington crowd looked almost non-existent.
Watching the end of the pool stages the Sydney crowd looked thin, though the commentator did say it had been bigger earlier in the day.

Is it time to move location.
Say Auckland, Melbourne, Manchester.
What has killed the Wellington Sevens is the clamping down on the party atmosphere with severe alcohol restrictions and monopolies granted for the sale of food and beverage merchants. Just about everyone I have met who used to go to the sevens and don't anymore, have hold me the same story; cold food, warm beer, alcohol restrictions and exorbitant prices. Basically the politically correct do-gooders have take the fun out of it.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation...628/Wowsers-have-ruined-the-Wellington-Sevens

Moving it to Auckland would be a backwards step because Eden Park is even worse and you would be fighting "Auckland Apathy" as well.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11791761

It would be better moved to the indoor Stadium in Dunedin.

Exclusive licensing is the bane of major sports ground throughout New Zealand, but it doesn't apply everywhere. Here in Nelson for Tasman home games the food and beverage outlets are space leased to individual suppliers. There are coffee carts, hot dog stands, sandwich bars and exotic food carts available. Two friends and myself usually go to all Tasman home games and we get big tray of Thai food to share (usually Pad Thai with noodles or Pad Puck Satay with Basmati rice) and a half dozen beers (in cans) for under $40. This will cost you more than twice that price at Eden Park or Wellington Stadium.
 
Last edited:

TigerCraig

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/australia
#3
What has killed the Wellington Sevens is the clamping down on the party atmosphere with severe alcohol restrictions and monopolies granted for the sale of food and beverage merchants. Just about everyone I have met who used to go to the sevens and don't anymore, have hold me the same story; cold food, warm beer, alcohol restrictions and exorbitant prices. Basically the politically correct do-gooders have take the fun out of it.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation...628/Wowsers-have-ruined-the-Wellington-Sevens

Moving it to Auckland would be a backwards step because Eden Park is even worse and you would be fighting "Auckland Apathy" as well.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11791761

It would be better moved to the indoor Stadium in Dunedin.

Exclusive licensing is the bane of major sports ground throughout New Zealand, but it doesn't apply everywhere. Here in Nelson for Tasman home games the food and beverage outlets are space leased to individual suppliers. There are coffee carts, hot dog stands, sandwich bars and exotic food carts available. Two friends and myself usually go to all Tasman home games and we get big tray of Thai food to share (usually Pad Thai with noodles or Pad Puck Satay with Basmati rice) and a half dozen beers (in cans) for under $40. This will cost you more than twice that price at Eden Park or Wellington Stadium.
Not wrong. Iknow a lot of rugby heads who don't go to any big matches - tahs, wallabies etc but go to the Shute shield for the same reason. Interestingly the afl launched a women's aussie rules league this week and had to shut the gates with 20 odd thousand unside. Part of the attraction apart from the fact the men haven't started yetand the novelty factor was that it was made fun.
 

Dickie E

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/australia
#4
Basically the politically correct do-gooders have take the fun out of it.
I was talking to a Wellington copper about this. Apparently the Wellington 7s used to be a den of drunken violence (country boys coming in to bash up the city boys) and sexual assault. I guess, at some stage, society has to decide which is more important.

But there are some odd rules, too. For instance, if you leave after 4pm (to go for dinner perhaps) you are not allowed back in on that night.

Maybe there is a reasonable middle ground. Cheaper tickets, plentiful but low alcohol beer, etc

Sydney was sold out (many patrons move between the stadium and the fan zone outside depending on which games they want to watch) with a declared total attendance over the 3 days of 75,000.
 
Last edited:

Ian_Cook

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/newzealan
#6
I was talking to a Wellington copper about this. Apparently the Wellington 7s used to be a den of drunken violence (country boys coming in to bash up the city boys) and sexual assault. I guess, at some stage, society has to decide which is more important.
Thats crap TBH. He's given you the NZ Police "party line". The reality is that the rules were changed because of a drunken few. Instead of growing some gonads and dealing harshly with the few, the authorities decided to dumb it down for everyone, and in so doing, have shot themselves (and the event) in the foot.

If this "den of drunken violence" was a real thing, why don't we see it at Provincial, Super Rugby and test matches at the same venues. Answer? Because its BS. I have been to the Sevens a few times, and been both in the stands and out in the concourse. I have never seen any of that kind of rife violence, and any drunken misbehavior was dealt with promptly.
 

Dickie E

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/australia
#9
Thats crap TBH. He's given you the NZ Police "party line". The reality is that the rules were changed because of a drunken few. Instead of growing some gonads and dealing harshly with the few, the authorities decided to dumb it down for everyone, and in so doing, have shot themselves (and the event) in the foot.

If this "den of drunken violence" was a real thing, why don't we see it at Provincial, Super Rugby and test matches at the same venues. Answer? Because its BS. I have been to the Sevens a few times, and been both in the stands and out in the concourse. I have never seen any of that kind of rife violence, and any drunken misbehavior was dealt with promptly.
I'll pass on your sentiments. Ian Cook of Christchurch, right?
 

TigerCraig

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/australia
#10
... and free entry
True, but for the first week of a new concept that was a smart move - as was playing at real stadia not park grounds

As for drunken behaviour/do-gooder reaction I think the problem is the general gutlessness of the courts. Instead of making life hard for those who can have a drink, have some fun and not be idiots, smash the bejesus out of those who mess up - drunk and disorderly -month in slammer, drunken assault, start with 12 months mandatory and move upwards etc

I love places like Singapore and Japan when you can buy a bottle of whiskey at a bar, take it to your table and pour your own drinks, and where they will keep serving you as long as you can pay with no restrictions - but mess up and don't expect any mercy
 

Crucial

Rugby Club Member
#12
Thats crap TBH. He's given you the NZ Police "party line". The reality is that the rules were changed because of a drunken few. Instead of growing some gonads and dealing harshly with the few, the authorities decided to dumb it down for everyone, and in so doing, have shot themselves (and the event) in the foot.

If this "den of drunken violence" was a real thing, why don't we see it at Provincial, Super Rugby and test matches at the same venues. Answer? Because its BS. I have been to the Sevens a few times, and been both in the stands and out in the concourse. I have never seen any of that kind of rife violence, and any drunken misbehavior was dealt with promptly.
Ian,apart from a short period overseas I have lived and worked in Wellington through the times of the Sevens.The vibe and crowd most certainly changed over time to the point where something had to be done.
To start with it was sports fans only, then those sports fans started dressing up and creating a great party atmosphere. Others, not interested in the rugby, wanted to be part of the fun and the demand for tickets was so massive the organisers and caterers were able to increase prices without problem.
After a while it became harder and harder for those interested in the actual tournament to get tickets and families were certainly driven out. For a couple of years even this worked until the crowd took a swing toward 'lets dress up in public and get shitfaced'. It used to even be fun through the city to see the good natured groups heading toward the stadium but in latter years it became an unpleasant exercise avoiding drunk yobs drinking in the streets.
The ticket holders spent more time outside the stadium drinking cheaper alcohol than they could get inside and even when inside they spent more time on the concourse drinking than in their seats watching.
basically the tournament went through a life cycle. They have tried hard to turn the clock back to the original family groups and sports watchers but society had also changed to people being 'time poor' and not wanting to commit to long hours at a sports ground, plus to be honest Sevens Rugby is not as interesting now that there are specialist players and not XVs stars having a crack.
The days of an amped up crowd watching Jonah Lomu passed.
 

Ian_Cook

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/newzealan
#13
Ian,apart from a short period overseas I have lived and worked in Wellington through the times of the Sevens.The vibe and crowd most certainly changed over time to the point where something had to be done.
To start with it was sports fans only, then those sports fans started dressing up and creating a great party atmosphere. Others, not interested in the rugby, wanted to be part of the fun and the demand for tickets was so massive the organisers and caterers were able to increase prices without problem.
After a while it became harder and harder for those interested in the actual tournament to get tickets and families were certainly driven out. For a couple of years even this worked until the crowd took a swing toward 'lets dress up in public and get shitfaced'. It used to even be fun through the city to see the good natured groups heading toward the stadium but in latter years it became an unpleasant exercise avoiding drunk yobs drinking in the streets.
The ticket holders spent more time outside the stadium drinking cheaper alcohol than they could get inside and even when inside they spent more time on the concourse drinking than in their seats watching.
basically the tournament went through a life cycle. They have tried hard to turn the clock back to the original family groups and sports watchers but society had also changed to people being 'time poor' and not wanting to commit to long hours at a sports ground, plus to be honest Sevens Rugby is not as interesting now that there are specialist players and not XVs stars having a crack.
The days of an amped up crowd watching Jonah Lomu passed.

While I agree there have been troublemakers, this is the case for any major event, sporting or otherwise. The way to deal with this issue is to deal with the actual troublemakers themselves (huge fines, stadium bans, jail time) not to make blanket rules that screw up the event for the other 99.99% of people who just want to have a good time and enjoy the event

The Wellington City Council and NZ Police approach to this has been rather like fumigating the whole house because you found one fly in the pantry. They have taken a wrecking ball to a problem that could easily have been fixed with a 2oz ball pein.

If you want to see a shining example of how security and crowd control can deal with problems without stuffing the event up for everyone, look no further than the 2017 Superbowl (which by the way was a fantastic game, the best game of American Football I have ever seen).

The USA faces security problems that we don't have to deal with here, such as terrorists who would see the Superbowl as a prime target and would like nothing better than to bomb it. The security for the event is immense, and yet, out of an attendance of over 70,000, there were ZERO arrests at the stadium.
 
Last edited:

Crucial

Rugby Club Member
#15
While I agree there have been troublemakers, this is the case for any major event, sporting or otherwise. The way to deal with this issue is to deal with the actual troublemakers themselves (huge fines, stadium bans, jail time) not to make blanket rules that screw up the event for the other 99.99% of people who just want to have a good time and enjoy the event

The Wellington City Council and NZ Police approach to this has been rather like fumigating the whole house because you found one fly in the pantry. They have taken a wrecking ball to a problem that could easily have been fixed with a 2oz ball pein.

If you want to see a shining example of how security and crowd control can deal with problems without stuffing the event up for everyone, look no further than the 2017 Superbowl (which by the way was a fantastic game, the best game of American Football I have ever seen).

The USA faces security problems that we don't have to deal with here, such as terrorists who would see the Superbowl as a prime target and would like nothing better than to bomb it. The security for the event is immense, and yet, out of an attendance of over 70,000, there were ZERO arrests at the stadium.

With respect Ian I think you aren't understanding my post.
It was a 0.01% problem in the early days and dealt with as you describe. Before they changed it from a Friday/Saturday tournament it got to the point where many average citizens would dread that Friday afternoon walk to the train station among the pissed up obnoxious 'partygoers'. It used to be good natured fun with a few laughs and people keeping things from getting out of hand.
The police simply did not have the manpower to enforce what was happening and were having to turn the other cheek a lot of the time unless things took a seriously bad turn.
It was behaviour like this that provided the partypoopers all the ammo they needed to bring in tougher laws. The partygoers wrecked it for themselves and the organisers pandering to them (for money) wrecked it for the sport fans.
 

Shelflife

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/ireland.p
#16
I would suggest that by not nipping the problem in the bud the authorities are as much to blame, a few early arrests and some nice fines would get everyone onside.

But its the same in Ireland, a few pissheads cause problems and instead of penalising them they introduce laws that impact everyone while the pissheads go off and cause trouble else where.

Problem is we are too soft on this sort of thing and thats why it keeps recurring.
 

crossref

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/england.p
#17
Ian,apart from a short period overseas I have lived and worked in Wellington through the times of the Sevens.The vibe and crowd most certainly changed over time to the point where something had to be done.
To start with it was sports fans only, then those sports fans started dressing up and creating a great party atmosphere. Others, not interested in the rugby, wanted to be part of the fun and the demand for tickets was so massive the organisers and caterers were able to increase prices without problem.
After a while it became harder and harder for those interested in the actual tournament to get tickets and families were certainly driven out. For a couple of years even this worked until the crowd took a swing toward 'lets dress up in public and get shitfaced'. It used to even be fun through the city to see the good natured groups heading toward the stadium but in latter years it became an unpleasant exercise avoiding drunk yobs drinking in the streets.
The ticket holders spent more time outside the stadium drinking cheaper alcohol than they could get inside and even when inside they spent more time on the concourse drinking than in their seats watching.
basically the tournament went through a life cycle. They have tried hard to turn the clock back to the original family groups and sports watchers but society had also changed to people being 'time poor' and not wanting to commit to long hours at a sports ground, plus to be honest Sevens Rugby is not as interesting now that there are specialist players and not XVs stars having a crack.
The days of an amped up crowd watching Jonah Lomu passed.
this is all very like what happened in Twickenham, coming to a head in 2015 when the town was completely turned over on the Saturday night - here's a report from a local blog (and read the comments). I remember it well, it was awful. Two fans actually died that weekend - one in the river drunk-swimming and one at the railway station (this one possibly coincidental, I am not sure)

At the time the RFU did not handle it that well, but in the post mortem with RFU, police, contractors, railway authorities, they realised things had to change and - to give them their due - last year it was all very different
- gone was the official encouragement to dress up (in years running up to 2015 the RFU had been setting the theme for the day (eg super-heroes)
- they no longer marketed it as wild day out for millenials
Instead
- they closed the top-tier, limiting the attendance to about half of what it was
- they marketed it as a family day out, with really cheap tickets for kids
- there was an international food festival in the car park, rather than raucouse live bands.

Hopefully this change will be persisted in 2017
 

Ian_Cook

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/newzealan
#18
I would suggest that by not nipping the problem in the bud the authorities are as much to blame, a few early arrests and some nice fines would get everyone onside.

But its the same in Ireland, a few pissheads cause problems and instead of penalising them they introduce laws that impact everyone while the pissheads go off and cause trouble else where.

Problem is we are too soft on this sort of thing and thats why it keeps recurring.
I have always been a believer that if the Police and other authorities were to put huge resources into minor crimes, the payoff down the line is a much lower rate of major crimes. You hammer the .01% very hard and very publicly, and that persuades other potential troublemakers to modify their behaviour or stay away from the event. For mine, turning a blind eye to minor crimes and concentrating most of your resources on major crimes is "ambulance at the bottom of the cliff" mentality.

There is a reason why Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Petty criminals are hammered so hard that it deters them (and others) from ever becoming major criminals. While I don't go along with everything they do, you can't argue that it hasn't worked well for them.
 
Last edited:

Camquin

Rugby Club Member
#19
I suppose even 50,000 tickets split evenly between £40 and £10 nets £1m after VAT.
Which must be more than it costs.
Does anyone know how the money is split between the hosts and World Rugby?
 

Dickie E

<img src="http://www.rugbyrefs.com/flags/australia
#20
I remember reading a piece in a NZ newspaper after the 2016 Wellington 7s regarding the low crowds. There was a quote from the local council that made it pretty clear that they weren't fussed whether the 7s survived or not. I got the impression that they were more keen on supporting arts festivals, eco-tourism & the like and that maybe the 7s had become a bit of an anachronism.