2017 HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens to be bigger and better
Organisers target 60,000 fans for Singapore Sevens on Easter weekend next year
Earlier this year, the World Rugby Sevens Series returned to Singapore for the first time in a decade and, by all accounts, was nothing short of a resounding success.
Already, plans are afoot to ensure next year's event is as big a spectacle, if not more.
The 2017 HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens was officially launched yesterday afternoon, with World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper recalling this year's edition as a "resounding success" and "one of the premier events of the calendar".
The tournament returns to the National Stadium on April 15 and 16, but tickets will be on sale from tomorrow, with early-bird discounts on offer until the end of the year.
With the tournament set for Easter weekend, Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) president Low Teo Ping is optimistic the long weekend will be a huge boost to their hopes of a big turnout.
While it is, in essence, a top-level rugby sevens tournament, Low believes it has a much broader appeal as fans will witness a great spectacle rather than just a sporting event.
"We were basically just scratching the surface at this year's event," he told The New Paper.
"There are even more things we can do to definitely build on what has previously been done, so we'll learn from it and look for new opportunities to really involve the fans.
"It's so much more than just having a rugby event and we want people to come and watch it, and then go home wanting to return again because they had a fantastic weekend when they really enjoyed themselves.
"We've already embarked on some creative ideas, such as the 'Show Your Colours' tagline, where we encourage them to really get out there and express themselves together with the players on the field."
Having seen a combined 50,000 fans this year, the organisers have set a conservative target of increasing that tally by 10,000 next April.
They will continue to have various public events and outreach programmes in the build-up to drum up support, and the start times on both days will be pushed back to 11am to make it more conducive for spectators.
While Low admits the SRU is constantly looking for new ways to engage the public, one thing he feels does not need any changing is the entertainment on offer on the field.
He added: "They (the players) are like Hollywood stars.
"You don't tell Hollywood stars how to act… You just give them the script and they will act accordingly.
"What is needed is for us to provide the whole ambience with the props, music and everything else."
It was also revealed that the National Stadium and Pan Pacific Hotels Group, their official hotel partner, were also ranked among the top in a post-tournament review of stadia and accommodation respectively across the Sevens Series' 10 destinations, further emphasising how positive this year's edition had been.
- Tickets for the 2017 HSBC World Rugby Singapore Sevens go on sale tomorrow. Prices for a two-day pass are $2 for children below 12, $20 for those 12-16, and $40 for adults. Family packages (2 adult, 2 children) for Category 1 tickets cost $260 (usual price $346). For more ticketing details, visit www.singapore7s.sg