As sixteen international Rugby Sevens teams converge on the streets of Wellington today for the annual Hertz Sevens street parade, the New Zealand team is looking forward to seeing familiar faces in the crowd with the tournament being held on their home turf.
A visual feast of costumes, music, dancing and acrobatics will make for a spectacular sight as the Hertz Sevens tournament officially kicks off, with Wellington city buzzing with tournament fever and the weather playing ball. Lambton Quay will come to a standstill as the players interact with the thousands of fans expected there to support their favourite teams.
“It’s pretty close to home, it’s only about an hour and a half from where I was born so hopefully there’s some people in the parade crowd that I know,” said Manawatu-born Taranaki fullback Kurt Baker.
The fullback says the day will be an awesome primer for the upcoming tournament. “It seems like all of Wellington gets in behind it. All the teams enjoy it, as well as those people who don’t actually go to the rugby itself, so they get to see some players.”
The parade will start on the corner of Ballance Street and Lambton Quay at 12.45pm and then travel down Lambton Quay, Willis Street and Mercer Street. The parade will finish at Civic Square where the teams will be officially welcomed by Wellington Mayor Celia-Wade Brown. “Our tournament has a unique atmosphere as Westpac Stadium and the Waterfront is abuzz with colour and noise. That’s a key reason why players love to play in Wellington.”
The parade will be followed by two action-packed game days at Westpac Stadium in front of 35,000 fans dressed in crazy costumes. Wellington has been hosting the HSBC Sevens tournament since 2000, which is regarded as the most colourful tournament of the World Sevens series.
When: Thursday, 31 January 2013, 12.45pm
Where: Lambton Quay, Wellington
Tournament name: Hertz Sevens
Dates: 1-2 February 2013
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Fourth of nine tournaments in the HSBC Sevens World Series
Gates open: 12:30pm Friday 1 February and Saturday 2 February
Olympic sport at Rio 2016
Hertz is principal sponsor for 2012-2013
Speight’s and Skinny Mobile are Associate Sponsors
This will be the 14th time the capital has hosted a leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series
New Zealand Games:
Friday 1 February
New Zealand v England 3:12pm
New Zealand v Spain 6:08pm
New Zealand v United States 9:56pm
Hertz Sevens Finals
Saturday 2 February
Shield Final 7.30pm
Bowl Final 8.00pm
Plate Final 8.30pm
Cup Final 9.30pm
AT THE STADIUM
This year includes exciting new activities for fans to participate in planned to run alongside the rugby action at Westpac Stadium.
Museum Art Hotel Costume Catwalk, in association with The Dominion Post
Friday 1 & Saturday 2 February, 1.00pm – 2.30pm, Plaza, Westpac Stadium
$25,000 prize pool over five categories, as well as overall winners. The winner will be announced on field Saturday evening with the Supreme Winner taking home $10,000.
There are six categories you can enter:
Best Female/s (Four females or less): $2,000
Best Male/s (Four males or less): $2,000
Best group: $5,000 winner, $2,000 runner up
Best couple: $2,000
Most “creative” Wellington: $2,000
Supreme winner: $10,000
Boot for Ute
Friday 1 & Saturday 2 February, 2.00pm on field at Westpac Stadium
Courtesy of Brendan Foot Motors, a brand new Ute is up for grabs with the Hertz Sevens Boot for Ute. Open to Rugby Zone ticketholders, fans will need to kick the rugby ball into the tray of the vehicle to claim the ultimate prize!
Women’s Rugby Sevens Exhibition Match
Friday 1 February, 7.54pm
Now with an IRB Women’s Sevens World Series and both men’s and women’s sevens included as an Olympic Sport in 2016, the number of women’s sevens participants is growing. On day one there will be an exhibition match of the stars of the future. This game will see Fielding High School girls sevens team, winners of the Condor Secondary Schools Sevens, face off with an invitational Rugbygirl Foundation Invitational, made up of the top secondary school players in the country.
The Rugbygirl foundation has been helping girls’ school teams across the country with great success. The foundation is about is helping girl’s rugby grow and a good place to start that is in schools. A school that has benefited from the support from the Rugbygirl foundation is the Feilding High School girls’ rugby team who have won an impressive 51 from 51 games played throughout the year and will be playing in this invitational match at the Hertz Sevens on Day One.
Parade of Nations and Opening Entertainment
Friday 1 February, 8.04pm on field at Westpac Stadium
Here is your opportunity to see all teams at the Hertz Sevens, as they parade around the field in front of the fans. This will be followed by a performance from the New Zealand Army Band.
Stars of the Sevens
Saturday 2 February, 4.00pm at Westpac Stadium
Five finalists will sing stadium anthems as selected by Hertz Sevens Facebook fans, in the hope of winning $2000 cash!
The following events will take place around Wellington, as the city embraces this international rugby festival.
Thursday 31 January starting at 12.45pm
All 16 international teams will grace the city and will be formally welcomed by the Hertz Sevens Street Parade.
Starting at Ballance Street at the northern end of Lambton Quay at 12.45pm, the parade flows down Lambton Quay and Willis Street to Civic Square where teams are officially welcomed at 1.30pm.
Batucada Fan Parade
Friday 1 & Saturday 2 February, 1.30pm starting at Odlins Plaza
Join fellow sevens-goers in the Batucada Fan Parade and head to the Hertz Sevens with the music beating.
The 2012 tournament saw plenty of fast-paced rugby sevens action.
Winners of the previous 13 tournaments held in Wellington:
2002 South Africa
2003/04/05 New Zealand
2008 New Zealand
2011/12 New Zealand
Matches begin at 1pm on both Friday and Saturday with approximate finishing times of 10.15pm and 10.00pm respectively.
The 16 teams are split into four pools. Each team is made up of 12 players; seven on the field, with a reserve bench of up to five.
Play on day one of the tournament consists of matches between teams in the same pool on a round-robin basis. Points are awarded for wins, losses and draws and go towards each team’s final point’s tabulation.
Matches are seven minute halves with a two-minute break in between. There are four finals: the Cup, the Plate, the Bowl and the Shield. The Cup Final features 10-minute halves and a two-minute half-time.
Following completion of all the pool matches on day one; the first and second placed teams in each pool progress to the Cup Championship. The third and fourth placed teams of each pool progress to the Bowl Championship.
The 2011/2012 HSBC Sevens World Series had match coverage that was distributed by 31 broadcasters to more than 374 million homes, and a total of 152 countries enjoyed match or highlights coverage.
Rugby Sevens has a global audience and the Hertz Sevens helps to showcase a little bit of New Zealand and encourages people into the region from overseas and other parts of New Zealand.
Westpac Stadium has a capacity of 35,000 which has sold out for the Hertz Sevens since 2002. Construction of Westpac Stadium finished at the end of 1999 and it is Wellington’s biggest sporting venue.
It takes 60 Spotless staff three months to organise the food service at the Hertz Sevens as spectators enjoy 12,000 burgers, 10,000 hot dogs, 20 pallets of hot chips and 5,000 pies.
There are 1100 guests each day in 54 corporate boxes and nine corporate lounges. Over the two days they are served 5,500 meals.
In addition in 2013, we have a variety of food and beverage options at Westpac Stadium. The range is available from 62 outlets around the stadium which includes; exotic curry’s, nachos, sushi and a vegetarian range as well as assorted drinks.
In 2008, the Hertz Sevens attracted over 45,000 people to the city and demand for tickets to the event exceeded 70,000.
In the same year, the tournament generated $15.6 million from the two-day event for the Wellington City economy.
The Hertz Sevens is a major event for New Zealand with over half of the tournament attendees coming from outside Wellington.
The visitor sector contributes $1.4 billion in expenditure per annum (an average $3.8 million per day) and accounts for approximately 10% of Wellington’s regional domestic product.