If you’ve never been to a USA Rugby Sevens tournament you’re really missing out on something special.
USA Rugby Sevens in Las Vegas was like ‘Mardi Gras and the Olympics’ – CNN Jan 30, 2014.
For the third time since the USA Rugby Sevens event moved to Vegas, South Africa emerged victorious over New Zealand; beating them 14-7 in Sunday’s exciting final decider match. But the weekend is about more than action on the field. It is also an opportunity for fans to gather at the Sam Boyd Stadium and revel in the carnival atmosphere. With half-time cheerleaders and spectators in all manner of fancy dress costumes, the USA Rugby sevens event is a spectacle on and off the pitch. It is a chance for fans from all around the world gather for three days to support their sevens rugby team and also indulge in Mardi Gras-like fun and revelry. It is a unique sporting event that must be experienced to be appreciated.
The USA Rugby Sevens is the largest annual rugby competition in North America.
It has steadily grown in popularity since it began in 2004. Since being introduced in 2004 to the US the USA Rugby sevens tournament has been how old at its consistent home, the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, every February since 2010. The USA Rugby sevens tournament features 16 teams from 16 countries representing every continent in the world. It is the fifth of nine tournaments orchestrated by the governing body of world rugby, called the IRB. The IRB Sevens World Series is played, apart from the USA, in Australia, Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, London and Scotland.
Attendance at USA Rugby Sevens has grown rapidly: in 2004 the tournament drew 15,800 fans, increasing to 25,000 fans in 2007, 37,000 fans in 2009, and – after switching to the three day format in 2011 – drew 49,909 fans that year. The USA Rugby Sevens tournament in 2012, increased attendance 2/64,107 fans including 30,112 fans on the second day of the event; which set a new record for the largest crowd to ever watch rugby event in the United States. 2013 saw attendance records broken again by rising to 67,341 and 31,228 for the most fans in the US to ever attend a rugby event in one day. This year, 2014, was no exception. With attendance records, climbing to 68,608 fans over the three day event and a single day high of 31,664 on Saturday: in spite of the tournament being moved to January to avoid a clash with the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The USA Rugby Sevens team is nicknamed ‘the Eagles’ and they are starting to soar…
The Eagles have seen a fantastic improvement at the IRB sevens World Series, a yearly tournament with nine events held across the world in different countries, including the USA Rugby Sevens tournament held (usually) every year in Las Vegas in February. The Eagles have become one of the core teams of the Rugby sevens World Series because they have finished in the top 12 every year for at least the last five years. So far the best season was in 2009/2010 when they finished in 10th spot ahead of countries long considered the traditional powers of rugby, such as Scotland and France. The Eagles best results at the USA Rugby sevens tournament was in 2009 when they reach the semifinals but they have steadily added many other successes to the record: including winning a bronze medal at the 2011 Pan American Games.
USA Rugby sevens team has turned professional …
Traditionally, the United States rugby controllers have used the USA Rugby sevens team to prepare players for the 15 player USA rugby team. However, since early 2012, due to the increased attention brought about by rugby’s return to the Olympics in 2016, the National USA Rugby sevens team has turned professional with core players being offered full-time paid contracts to play rugby.