Ticket prices for HK Sevens stay unchanged
The world may be in recession, but fans will have to pay full price for a ticket to next year's Hong Kong Sevens with organisers keeping prices at HK$1,080 for an adult ticket.
About 5,000 tickets will go on sale to the public on January 17 through Hong Kong Ticketing's online booking service and hotline.
There will not be a public sale as in the past at Hong Kong Stadium. A child's ticket will also remain the same at HK$300.
'We know it is tough times, but our costs have not come down either,' said Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) executive director Allan Payne yesterday.
'This is still an exceptionally good price for a world-class three-day event.
'We are a month late this time in the sale of tickets, mainly because we were busy with the Bledisloe Cup. But we wanted the public to know well in hand to mark down January 17 in their diaries.'
High-flying South Africa, winners of the opening two legs of the IRB Sevens World Series - in Dubai and George, South Africa - will head a lineup of 24-teams for the March 27-29 extravaganza.
Organisers have decided to stick with Hong Kong Ticketing, following the same formula used for the Bledisloe Cup - this despite indignation from some sections of the public who complained of jammed telephone lines.
'Hong Kong Ticketing has assured us they will be better prepared this time. But for any major event, the first hour or so is busy,' Payne said.
The HKRFU has restricted individual purchases to two tickets per person.
Although the Rugby World Cup Sevens will be held in Dubai, three weeks before the Hong Kong event, the HKRFU is confident it will not have any impact.
'We would like to think the World Cup in Dubai is the warm-up for the Hong Kong Sevens,' said Payne. 'Realistically, it might have some effect on us, but not too much.'
Even though they have not tasted success this season, defending champions New Zealand will again be among the favourites and will lead the challenge from the 12 core teams in the Cup competition. Fiji, who are second in the IRB standings, and sentimental favourites England, who reached the Cup final in Dubai, will be the other top contenders.
Two teams returning to the Hong Kong Sevens after a break of many years are Uruguay (last seen in 1999) and the West Indies (2001).
A three-day ticket for the 2009 HK Sevens still costs HK$1,080, a markup of : 0