The Wellington Sevens

December 6th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Sevens fans oblivious to the sport being played on the field need to start paying attention as organisers look to “transform” Wellington’s biggest party and make it more Olympic.

The centrepiece of Wellington’s sports and events calendar needed to change ahead of the rugby code’s debut at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, general manager Marty Donoghue told a Wellington City Council committee yesterday.

“We’re at a point when we need to transform.”

That move is being supported by veteran rugby commentator Keith Quinn, who says the party has overtaken the tournament.

After the meeting, Mr Donoghue – who has spent just three weeks in the tournament’s top job – said the idea was to still have the party and costumes but to put more emphasis on rugby.

A worthy aim, but good luck with that.

Increasing the rugby and family zones was a way to enhance the sport aspect, and potentially attract new audiences.

One small problem with that.

The family and rugby zones were both used at this year’s tournament, and tickets for the 2014 event have been the first in years not to sell out within minutes, with about 3000 still available yesterday.

No one wants to be in the nana section.

The move to focus on sport was backed by Quinn, who ranked the Hong Kong and Dubai events ahead of Wellington’s because they focused more on the rugby.

“The is very good, but it’s at its best on a sunny day on the second afternoon, when the crowd finally does focus in on the last stage of the semifinals and the various finals . . . Sometimes I have felt that the party has distracted the crowd from the event, the sports event.”

I think many who attend have the view that the rugby distracts the crowd from the party.

Tags:

36 Responses to “The Wellington Sevens”

  1. Colville (2,191 comments) says:

    The only time I have been to the Sevens I was puked on by a young lady dressed as a rubiks cube. :-)

    Awesome day out, we were right down the front against the rail. I was sober driver!

    The Sevens IS the Party !

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Peter (1,673 comments) says:

    There’s a rugby game on during the 7s?

    Quite frankly, they should dispense with the Rugby and have 100% focus on the dress-up and drinkin’ party. The Rugby is superfluous.

    Way out of touch, Keith….

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. seanmaitland (472 comments) says:

    All they will end up doing if they tamper too much is killing the event and making it a bore-fest like most of the other seven’s tournaments.

    Keith Quinn is an astute guy, but hes simply on his high horse here about people not watching the rugby. If you actually sit in the crowd at Dubai and Hong Kong its not a great atmosphere.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. WineOh (608 comments) says:

    “If you get bored at the Sevens, you can always watch the rugby.”

    I don’t think I’d go to the Welly sevens in its current form, I’d be busy telling revellers nearby to sit down & shut up so I could watch the game. So rather than be a party pooper I’ll watch it on TV instead.

    Why would you want to change the atmosphere though? Its what makes it so distinctive & different and what keeps it in Wellington rather than shifting to Eden Park.

    It is a bit embarrassing to see the empty grand-stands though in the earlier stages. Especially on the morning of the second day when 3/4 of the ticket holders are sleeping off the previous night’s giggle-juice.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Scott (1,736 comments) says:

    I agree with Keith Quinn. I enjoy the sport. I like sport. If you don’t like rugby and find it boring then don’t go.
    As if New Zealanders don’t have enough parties to go to? I would like to see the sevens go back to being a rugby tournament. If people want to dress up and throw up and be stupid then they should organise their own party event.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. NK (1,138 comments) says:

    Another example of trying to regulate people’s instinctive behaviour. It can never work.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. georgebolwing (686 comments) says:

    I am failing to see the connection between changing the tone of the Welly event and Rugby becoming an olypmic sport.

    Is he suggesting that people who are used to Wellington will be surprised when they go to Rio, that obviously boring, fun-hating town, and discover that Olympic decorum dictates a higher standard of behaviour?

    I have always worried that the stuffed-shirts of the rugby world will want to stop people having fun at the sevens, since they think that rugby is a serious game played and watched by serious people who like having discussions about scrummaging technique and the development of kicking tees, not young people going out to have fun.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. rouppe (945 comments) says:

    Seats at the rail are the best, Colville. I had them one year, it was awesome. Hard to get them though unless you are a season member at the stadium. Otherwise its random allocation.

    I’ve chosen tickets in the Rugby Section this year. I don’t consider it the ‘nana section’, Dave. What it’ll do is save someone from a trip to the ED. The last few years I’ve had to get into physical confrontations with drunk arseholes who decide that where I’m sitting is better than where they’re sitting and barge on in. Party as much as you want, drink yourselves stupid (last year a woman was puking at her seat by 3pm on the Friday) I really don’t care.

    But when what you’re doing impinges on what I want to do, that’s not ok by me. If the rugby was really superfluous, why do all the drunks pour out of the concourse for the final? What I’d say to folk like Peter is that what really ought to happen is a massive party venue at Waitangi Park, somewhere where you can do whatever you want. After all, the rubgy is superfluous, right? The Wellington Sevens is the only sevens tournament in the series where the actual tournament is largely ignored.

    The first 5 or so years at Wellington there was plenty of party, and plenty of appreciation for the tournament. It’s only in the last 3-5 years that the drunks have become a real problem. That does need to change.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    Only silly old Keith Quinn would moan and groan about all the scantily clad hot girls in fancy dress!
    Because people really want to pay to see Tonga vs Canada in yet another meaningless round of rugby sevens…

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. mikemikemikemike (320 comments) says:

    Only in NZ would we actually complain about a world famous event that has consistently sold out within minutes with thousands of people enjoying themselves and pouring money into the economy. This isn’t about sport at all – its about people who think they are entitiled to the game more than everyone else.

    The sevens introduced my wife to rugby and she is now as avid a fan of the 15 man game as any lad. its a fantastic event and is finally something that isn’t to do with hobbiton or a big fucked of monkey going loose in the city (though I’m certain that does happen on the first night)

    Piss off with your old ways Quinn!

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. unaha-closp (1,141 comments) says:

    Sevens fans oblivious to the sport being played on the field need to start paying attention as organisers look to “transform” Wellington’s biggest party and make it more Olympic.

    The centrepiece of Wellington’s sports and events calendar needed to change ahead of the rugby code’s debut at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, general manager Marty Donoghue told a Wellington City Council committee yesterday.

    Olympic feel…

    In Rio they have to organise a rugby tournament in a city with no interest in rugby whatsoever, but Rio likes to party. It would take a complete and utter moron to think that the organisers of the Rio games are going to make it all about the rugby. If Marty Donoghue wasn’t braindead, he would be inviting the Olympic organisers over to show them a good party and get them enthused at making a better one in Rio.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Urban_Redneck (61 comments) says:

    Its a great event for narcissists and exhibitionists to attend. For genuine rugby fans, not so much.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. NK (1,138 comments) says:

    Then watch it on TV.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    yeah, good luck with that.

    It’s a drag event for rugby heads who need to get their suppressed bi-sexual / tranz-sexual urges out of their system in one big exhibitionist blowout for the year.

    One of the guys at work didn’t even make it to the start of the first day last year, having written himself off at their boozy breakfast and various other preloading stops along the way to the stadium…

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Peter (1,673 comments) says:

    The Wellington Sevens is the only sevens tournament in the series where the actual tournament is largely ignored.

    Because if you tried to fill a stadium with people who genuinely cared about Canada vs Japan, you’d have Keith Quinn and 40 other train-spotters, and the next year, the event would be dead.

    If it wasn’t for the party, the economics of the event make no sense.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Peter (1,673 comments) says:

    Rugby is a silly, but fun, game, so the 7s may well be the pinnacle representation of it. The fans mirror the inherent silliness of what goes on on the pitch and remind everyone it’s just a bit of fun. Remember the origins of the sports stadium, namely the Roman Colosseum.

    I think that’s really what the stuffed shirts don’t like – their religion isn’t being treated with reverence.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. rouppe (945 comments) says:

    Sure, the party improves improved the event. But in recent years it’s more like one of those Facebook events where 500 people who you didn’t expect turn up who just want to trash the place.

    Cause fucking up someone else’s place is fun, right?

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. labrator (1,849 comments) says:

    I think they’ve killed it already. The fact it hasn’t sold out within minutes is a huge indicator of that. The signal was sent “don’t come here for a party”. Only in NZ would people be upset that a boring sport has sold out the stadium, maxed out the cities accommodation and provided international attention and reputation for fun. They’ll miss it when it’s gone though and then probably spend a small fortune on consultants trying to work out how to bring it back.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. NK (1,138 comments) says:

    Cause fucking up someone else’s place is fun, right?

    Aye?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Ed Snack (1,801 comments) says:

    Another bunch of people who think drinking so much as to consistently make oneself sick is a genuinely interesting and sophisticated way to entertain oneself. Oh, and who also seem to think that anyone NOT trashed out of their head is some sort of straight-laced uptight idiot is is just ASKING to be harrassed, puked on, and otherwise made to see just how much fun it really is when you’re on the verge of alcoholic poisoning.

    So, yes, very typical Wellington event full of all the real “movers and shakers” of the place.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Peter (1,673 comments) says:

    I know a lot of people who no longer go to the 7s, but still get dressed up and go to town. The stuffed shirts are indeed in the process of killing the golden goose, because they genuinely fail to understand the event.

    It isn’t about them. It isn’t about rugby. It’s about the crowd.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Wayne91 (143 comments) says:

    Having been to the sevens 3 years in a row a few years back (and still recovering) I can say I thouruoghly enjoyed both aspects: the partying and the rugby

    If they dull it down too much it may be a further boost for the League nines

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Ashley Schaeffer (443 comments) says:

    I’ve never attended the Wgtn Sevens because being surrounded by drunks for hours on end is not my idea of a good time. However, the change in atmosphere around the Wgtn CBD when the Sevens is on is tangible and exciting. It would be a shame for someone to kill it by tampering with a winning formula.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Peter (1,673 comments) says:

    Ed, it’s the one day of the year they get to do that “officially”. It’s a release which has a lot more in common with the origins of sport than the po-faced Victorian reverence the likes of Quinn appear to insist on.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Not exactly relevant, but the Gold Coast sevens failed to sell out again this year. I would have gone, but I’d rather watch Bathurst on TV. And Robina stadium is only a hop, skip, and free train ride away. I’d have gone if it was the same as Wellington. And it is fair to say that GC is known for its party atmosphere and there would be enough interest in the sport since half the city’s population was born in New Zealand.

    GC Sevens need to reschedule so they are not on the same weekend as Australia’s biggest car race. It is also the weekend following the NRL grand final and two weeks after the AFL final, and three weeks after the GC 600 (which goes off, even if it is no longer indy). If they moved the date to November or December it would sell out every time. They could have it at the same time as schoolies. Provided the party atmosphere was encouraged like in Wellington.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Ed Snack (1,801 comments) says:

    Oh indeed, I’m hardly supporting the Quinn version of the event, but seriously out of control drinking is to my mind a nasty trend, and this event seems to be making a fetish out of just that aspect. I’m all for alcohol, I’d guess that I’d have a drink on, say, 360 days of the year at least, but all to many of these “revellers” seem to be trying to match my annual consumption in a day. And it doesn’t stop there does it ? It hyas been a very long time since my metric for judging if an event was a success was that if I couldn’t remember anything about it, then it must have been great. (/grumpy old bastard mode)

    So I’d say event is great, enjoyment, dressing up, having drinks, all good. The implicit encouragement to drink oneself insensible, foolishness squared. Sure, some people always will, and relative youngsters, well, we’ve all been there at least once and I’m relatively tolerant of that. I reckon though that there’s far too much of this “drinking until you’re paralytic is cool” about, especially amongst those who should be able to be just a tad more responsible. (and /slightly more reasonable but still grumpy old man mode)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. shoreboy57 (137 comments) says:

    More Nana’s telling us how to behave

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. thePeoplesFlag (222 comments) says:

    Some sevens tournaments are about the rugby, some are about the party. Neither needs to be imposed on the other. long live difference!

    Still, if Wellington kills the tournament it will finally get moved to Auckland, where it properly belongs, because this is where the biggest stadium and most people are.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. RRM (9,667 comments) says:

    I think that’s really what the stuffed shirts don’t like – their religion isn’t being treated with reverence.

    Yes.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. rouppe (945 comments) says:

    The family and rugby zones were both used at this year’s tournament, and tickets for the 2014 event have been the first in years not to sell out within minutes, with about 3000 still available yesterday.

    Of course what hasn’t been mentioned and is worth mentioning is that the inaugural Auckland Nines NRL tournament is on the following weekend. There’s a good chance that some of the people who would have gone to the Sevens in Wellington might stay in Auckland to attend this event.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. wreck1080 (3,815 comments) says:

    Lads go there to dress up , get boozed and have fun and to pick up chicks.

    To turn this into some kind of rugby event won’t work.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. snowy (107 comments) says:

    So peoples fag, you think all of NZ’s sporting and cultural events should be moved to Auckland then?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. Bad__Cat (140 comments) says:

    The Fun Police are loose again.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. MH (693 comments) says:

    The best comment will win a free Keith Quinn Stigmata Funereal package. OOO Oh ah ah ah.

    Sir Tecy’s mob lost 40 – 0 to the Fijians at the last tournament, Olympic contenders ?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. burt (8,036 comments) says:

    If you are at the 7′s and start to get bored … Turn around and watch the Rugby.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. 3-coil (1,204 comments) says:

    Stupid old Keith Quinn has finally disappeared up his own arse. The silly old twit drones on and actually believes his own waffle.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.