More Sevens beer stalls
By BRENDAN DELFINO
CONCERN over fewer caterers selling beer at the Rugby Sevens this year has prompted organisers to increase the number of temporary stalls to help reduce queues.
The three breweries providing beer for the thirsty hordes have each been allocated an additional temporary stall to help avoid crowd problems.
McDonald's and Haagen-Dazs have opted not to sell beer, citing problems in the efficiency of service last year.
Simon Hill of stadium managers Wembley International said each brewer would be allowed four stalls, increasing the total number of temporary facilities to 12 from only nine last year.
He said organisers were concerned the lesser number of outlets could cause longer queues outside other stalls and caterers selling beer. A spokesman for Haagen-Dazs said the company decided not to sell beer this year because most customers were more interested in its other products.
Spokesman for McDonald's restaurants Mary Leventhal said the company found that it was unable to serve customers as efficiently while selling beer last year.
She said the company also found it unnecessary to sell beer when neighbouring outlets were doing the same.
Caterers in the stadium received temporary liquor licences from police yesterday, avoiding a repeat of last year's drama when the Liquor Licensing Board delayed its decision to grant permission for beer sales.
Governor Chris Patten saved the event by stepping in hours before kick-off to allow the sales of beer.