With Las Vegas Set to Say Adios to Rugby Sevens, Los Angeles in Pole Position to Host

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There is no doubt that Las Vegas is one of the most popular tournaments on the Sevens World Series.  However, The USA Sevens, which has been held in Las Vegas since 2010, will likely have a new home beginning in 2020.

The Las Vegas leg has been successful, for the most part. The 2016 tournament was broadcast on NBC and its sports networks. It is reported to have reached national and international audiences to over 400 million homes and 147 countries. The 2017 event attracted record crowds to Sam Boyd stadium for the 7th consecutive year with attendance of over 80,000 for the three days.

There are however, legitimate concerns that make the case for moving away from Las Vegas. The Sam Boyd stadium is about a 30-minute drive from the center of action, and that will not be changing any time soon until the new NFL stadium is completed in 2020

The stadium’s artificial turf has also been heavily criticized by competing teams. The narrowness of the pitch, and sidelines that are very close to the stands have also raised concerns about players’ safety.  The players are also reported to have been uneasy with having to stay in hotels that are still filled with cigarette smoke.

Jon Prusmack, who started United World Sports and was the financial and emotional backing behind the USA Sevens when he bought it in 2006, died towards the end of 2018. His death means UWS has to think more deeply about the future.

It is reported that organizers are looking for an “International City”, to replace Las Vegas. In addition, the climate needs to work. To this end, it is more likely San Diego or Los Angeles. Will be the new host cities.

There are reports that AEG has been trying to push rugby 7s at Stubhub, in Carson. The Stubhub is close to California State University-Dominguez Hills and this provides a bevy of training facilities. The stadium has hosted the LA Galaxy, has ample parking and is located not far from center of action, either in Downtown Long Beach or Downtown Los Angeles. The sandy beaches of Redondo, Manhattan and Long Beach are not far as well!

Los Angeles is proving to be the sports center for fans. With the Rams having made it to the Super bowl, soccer world cup coming in a few years as well as the Olympics, there is no doubt Los Angeles wants the rugby arm as well and will outbid all the other cities. Needless to mention, the weather in the month of March when the US plays hosts, is warm and friendly!

Is it early to say “Welcome to Los Angeles, Rugby fans!

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