Why the Sevens will stay in Wellington

February 7th, 2010 at 11:40 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post is worried:

The vultures are circling. As the kicked off in bright sunshine yesterday (is it ever any different in the capital?) word emerged that both and are contemplating bids for host rights to the New Zealand leg of the international sevens circuit when it comes up for grabs again in 2012.

I don’t think there is any need to worry.

The Sevens won’t go to Auckland for two reasons:

  1. No one will turn up
  2. No one will notice they are on

Auckland is notoriously unreliable when it comes to attending sporting events. And the Sevens are more than a sporting event – they are a two day festival, and part of the festival is seeing people all through town in their costumes. You won’t in Auckland.

As for Dunedin, you have to be crazy to hodl the Sevens in Dunedin.

In one sense Dunedin would be a great venue. The venue would sell out easily, and the locals would definitely love dressing up and attending. It could almost do as well as Wellington.

But the problem is that half of Dunedin would get burnt to the ground, as the cost of hosting it.

Students (and others) in Dunedin start burning couches and generally rioting after just a couple of hours of drinking. You’d have to be mad to want to host a game which is basically two days of non-stop drinking rugby.

Can you imagine 25,000 students and others pouring out of the stadium after NZ wins (or loses) the Sevens. George Street would disappear in the rioting.

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24 Responses to “Why the Sevens will stay in Wellington”

  1. mikeysmokes (269 comments) says:

    Auckland would be a great place for the sevens, Eden park is only a thirty minute walk from the city centre according to Mayor Banks

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  2. somewhatthoughtful (436 comments) says:

    this just seems to me to be a way for the irb to extract some more tax concessions or favourable hosting conditions out of the wcc by “threatening” them with this empty threat to move the tournament. The only other town it may work in would be chch. BUT this ignores the fact that chch is a flat vacuous shithole therefore fundamentally unsuitable for hosting anything (other than bacteria).

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  3. Peter (1,468 comments) says:

    The IRB must mistakenly think it’s about rugby.

    It’s not. It’s about carnival. It’s very dependent on environment.

    Try taking carnival out of Rio and see how you get on….

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  4. dad4justice (7,406 comments) says:

    The IRB don’t care ir’s a carnival, as long as the grounds are full. Lawyers oops I mean IRB people love a full house. Much like the IRD bastards.

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  5. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,664 comments) says:

    Who cares?

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  6. Pita (354 comments) says:

    Peter is right, it has gone beyond rugby… to a point where the sevens competition is almost incidental to the event.

    “Eden park is only a thirty minute walk from the city centre” but the spectator would not be walking from the city centre… they would be arriving from all points of the compass so much of the sense of carnival created by a wave of costumed revelers rolling en masse toward the park and back to the bars afterwards would be lost.

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  7. Michael (880 comments) says:

    Auckland isn’t suitable for the Sevens for the same reason as Dunedin. Having drunk revellers being let loose in residential streets after the Sevens finish would be a recipe for disaster. The crowd is much younger than the typical rugby crowd, and much drunker/high spirited than a cricket crowd. Only Wellington has the right facility to host this event.

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  8. MikeG (359 comments) says:

    If only Auckland had a waterfront stadium!!

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  9. Peter (1,468 comments) says:

    The IRB don’t care ir’s a carnival, as long as the grounds are full.

    That’s the point – they won’t be.

    Nobody gives a s*it about the Rugby Sevens. People do not buy tickets to watch the Sevens, they buy tickets to the carnival. There’s no guarantee you’ll get carnival happening in locations that don’t suit it – Wellington has a parade route the focus of the city’s attention, and a small round stand where everyone can watch each other.

    The WCC should call their bluff.

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  10. Trevor Mallard (245 comments) says:

    @ Mike as a Wellingtonian I’m pleased a central stadium won’t happen there for at least another 50 years.

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  11. Crusader (225 comments) says:

    Why meddle with a formula that works? Keep it in Wellington.

    But @ “somewhatthoughtful” – why the vitriol against Christchurch? Do you have a small mind or small cohones? Grow up, loser.

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  12. somewhatthoughtful (436 comments) says:

    vitriol or honesty, crusader? i’m happy with my cohones.

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  13. Dave001 (26 comments) says:

    Someone needs to sit Banks & Co down and explain that what works in Wellington will not necessarily work in Auckland.

    BTW The 7′s is an excuse for many people (including lots of Aucklanders) to PARTY DRINK and ROOT in Wellington, often WITHOUT their “significant other”.

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  14. kowtow (6,685 comments) says:

    Large elements of the Dunedin mob that inhabits the Terrace at Carisbrook are possibly the most shameful and embarrassing aspect of NZ rugby.

    At 2 test matches I have witnessed a barrage of beer bottles (plastic) thrown at the South Africa team after their win and then at the French team when they did a “thank you ” lap at the end of their game. Say no more.

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  15. David in Chch (503 comments) says:

    The Sevens should not go to Auckland, and likely won’t. I only need mention one word – Beckham! Worked in Wellinton, not in Auckland.

    And as for Chch – what got up your nose SWT that you are so down on Chch? It’s a great place to live and work, the stadium (now larger and grander) is close to the central (party) city, and the flatness actually makes it easier for people to walk around.

    But then again, often one can tell from the tone that there is no reasoning with some people, no rhyme or reason to their thinking. So it is, I suspect, in your case.

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  16. 103PapPap (116 comments) says:

    The Sevens will still be held in February, and University hasn’t started yet, so Dunedin won’t have varsity students around. The remainder of the Dunedin populace is inherently conservative so wouldn’t attend anyway.

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  17. Pete George (21,796 comments) says:

    Hard to know about attendance at something like the sevens. Although next weekend the Octagon market day and Thieves Alley is usually jam packed. Rugby is usually attended at least as much by non-students from around Otago and Southland, I think a sevens carnival would be well supported.

    As 103PapPap says, the student population is only just flowing into the city at this time of year, many of the first years accompanied by their parents – more possible attendees at a sports carnival.

    Dunedin already successfully has festival weekends organised around rugby tests. No riots then, they are not student events. Trying to play the riot card against Dunedin is a bit like playing the earthquake card against Wellington – perhaps a bit devious.

    Having said that, Sevens and Wellington have a history and seem to belong together. It would be a shame if it just becomes a highest bidder event.

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  18. Steve (4,314 comments) says:

    Re Mallard @ 1.03pm
    “a central stadium won’t happen there for at least another 50 years”

    Not unless it is named “Mallard Stadium” huh Trev? You were quite willing to spend $350M on a Stadium on Auckland’s waterfront. Remember? I do.

    The sevens should stay in Wellington because a lot of Wellingtonians like to dress up and pretend they are something they are not.

    Auckland just could not handle something like the Sevens. FFS we can’t even get transport from the City to the Airport sorted. Prob we have far too many Trevs up here.

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  19. Viking2 (10,695 comments) says:

    The ARA could run it __ at a loss of course because that’s what they do.

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  20. jag (54 comments) says:

    Don’t get me wrong this event should never be taken away from Wellington and I don’t see how, in all seriousness, they could move the event – I do think that the new Dunedin stadium will be fantastic.

    I also think that the riot argument is a little simplistic – My reservations with regards to Dunedin would be with regards to the nightlife/hospitality scene. I just don’t see how Dunedin has the capacity to cope with the influx of people for something like Sevens weekend. I witnessed what happened there with the Lions tour – it was great – but that was Dunedin at a stretch. The carnival that accompanies the Sevens would be a bridge too far in my opinion. There are queues around the block for bars like The Cook on a normal weekend in the absence of special events.

    There is no real central locations for bars – it’s divided between the Uni and the Octagon. Having studied for 5 years in Dunedin I am certain that the Octagon alone couldn’t cope with what I saw in Courtenay Place last night.

    As far as I’m concerned this is just a paper pushing exercise on behalf of the NZRU just to be seen to be transparent and “fair”. All it’ll do is waste rate-payer money in all the centres that choose to bid – it’s a foregone conclusion that Wellington will keep it. It’s this mindless exercises like this that leave me shaking my head – Do you think that China RFU would ever think of moving the Hong Kong event to Shanghai or Beijing in the interests of “fairness”? Brazil move Carnival from Rio to Sao Paulo? Wimbledon moved to Manchester? Mardi Gras from New Orleans to New York?
    It’s daft to tinker with a winning formula.

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  21. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (759 comments) says:

    “BTW The 7’s is an excuse for many people (including lots of Aucklanders) to PARTY DRINK and ROOT in Wellington, often WITHOUT their “significant other”.”
    So the 7′s magically allows you not not feel like a scumbag for your behaviour?

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  22. somewhatthoughtful (436 comments) says:

    I can understand why for some people chch is a tolerable place to live. I just find it a vacuous, boring cultural wasteland. Apart from that i guess hagley park’s nice. It’s the type of place that makes me want to leave as soon as i get there. IMNSHO

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  23. GPT1 (2,042 comments) says:

    Auckland missed the boat stadium wise. Eden Park will be OK but never match what could have been. I can’t see Auckland hosting it particularly well. Dunedin would do it right. Although One and Three News will no doubt camp out on Castle street determined to find a riot. Prats. Dunedin does not riot – one or two blocks of Castle street have a saturday night with a few extra burnt couches.

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  24. fruitshop (44 comments) says:

    Uni Students don’t go back till end Feb.
    Beginning Feb- Dunedin is quiet.

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