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  • Dec 27, 2014
  • Updated: 4:20am

Hong Kong Sevens

The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is an international seven-a-side rugby tournament held every March as part of the Sevens World Series and featuring the world’s top teams.

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Hong Kong Sevens offers only 3,000 tickets for local fans by public ballot

Only 3,000 out of HK stadium's 40,000 capacity will be up for grabs via public ballot next year

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 December, 2013, 2:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 December, 2013, 4:58am

Competition for tickets to the Hong Kong Sevens could be as fierce as the rugby on the pitch after it was announced yesterday that only 3,000 tickets for next year's event will be available via public ballot.

The figure is down from 4,000 this year and 5,000 in 2011, while the capacity of the Hong Kong Stadium is 40,000.

Some fans were unhappy and said the number of corporate tickets should be cut.

Supporter Andrew Massey said only one out of 20 of his friends got tickets via the ballot this year, with a total of 50,000 applications received.

He said: "It is extremely questionable whether the corporate sponsorship generates greater benefit for the game than would a full public sale of the tickets without the whole gravy train that exists only for the benefit of those least interested in the event and sport in general."

Trevor Gregory, chairman of the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union, said: "With the increasing growth in numbers in Hong Kong Rugby and demand far outstripping the capacity of our stadium, an increased allocation of tickets has again been provided to members of local rugby clubs and HKRFU stakeholders, with an accompanying reduction in the number of tickets for public sale."

Interest in the sport is booming. The number of players at youth, senior and mini-rugby clubs grew 10 per cent in the past year, Gregory said, and the union had to ensure players and supporters had access to the Sevens.

"For those that cannot access tickets we feel the best way to have access in future is by joining local rugby clubs as a player or supporter," he said.

There are now 56 rugby clubs and around 10,000 registered players. Club membership normally costs HK$500 to HK$1,000.

To allow more fans to attend, they can buy tickets for any of the three days of the event rather than having to buy a three-day package as in the past, the union said.

A three-day ticket will cost HK$1,500, the same as last year.

Even rugby clubs have difficulties in getting tickets, said Jung Ho-jung, head coach of the Tin Shui Wai Rugby Football Club.

The club has doubled the number of its teams to four this year, but only 70 per cent of members got tickets this year.

"Sevens tickets are important for a club's development," he said. "Reserving a Sevens ticket is the biggest draw for one to join as a member … The biggest solution [to the ticket shortage] is to have a new stadium."


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This article is now closed to comments

Oh come on and give me a break... Half of the 'so called' rugby fans are just there for the drinking and and party (and a lot of these 'fans' are probably real rugby experts too....lol).
Whoops...misread the post below - I agree. A healthy percentage of the people who get corporate passes dont actually seem to be at all interested in the games, taking both value space and seats from rugby clubs who DO enjoy the games.
The HKRFU claim they are interested in growing the game, bringing it to a wider audience. Yet they reserve 93% of the tickets for existing members of rugby clubs and corporate sponsors. So any claims to have the interests of the game at heart are exposed as lies. All they care about is money.
All major sporting events suffer from this, but the 7s is one of the worst. Sports prostrate themselves before their corporate sponsors, giving bucketfuls of tickets to people with little interest in the sport beyond the networking and schmoozing opportunities it affords. As a result fewer ordinary people have the chance to witness top level sport in the flesh. The HK 7s is in danger of becoming an exclusive, corporate event, with no access for the general public. As usual in HK greed trumps all other considerations.
A joke….HK Sevens used to be for Hong Kongers……now…..forget it….I don't work for JP Morgan or CitiBank, so I will just give up all hope.
If the Rugby 7s want more government assistance, such as an improved and enlarged stadium, all additional seating should be guaranteed to be reserved for the public.
Not an unreasonable assumption, I suppose, but its not the case. I'm a rugby fan. I just don't see why I should have to pay twice to go to the tournament. Do we have to join a film society before we can purchase cinema tickets? No. Do we have to join a football club before we can buy tickets for football matches? No.
Of course sponsors should get some tickets, and clubs should get allocations, but the proportions are horribly skewed. Making 93% of tickets unavailable to the general public is not the way to spread the popularity of the game.
I agree that for any publicly funded stadium, there needs to be a majority of tickets available to the public - if rugby club members want to buy them all, then fine and good, but also give others the chance to get some. It seems that rugby is gouging people who want to go to the sevens - as if ticket prices aren't high enough, you need to join a 'club' to get the best chance to buy.
With a new stadium, stop this nonsense and just sell tickets to the public with no restrictions. If HK rugby doesn't like it then let them stay at HK Stadium.
Move it to Beijing....they have a big stadium looking for a purpose. I gave up on the Sevens when one could no longer walk up and buy tickets the day of the event.
John Adams
It is certainly true that most of the corporate sponsor boxes are almost totally empty until lunchtime, even on Sunday, and I have never seen a corporate sponsor box full except maybe for the last couple of hours of the finals.
This really DOES waste seats for real rugby fans who don't happen to have friends in the corporate sponsor companies.
The answer surely is therefore to double / treble / quadruple the cost of corporate sponsor boxes so that :
a) there are many less boxes and / or the boxes are smaller
b) income from sponsor boxes stays the same ( less boxes but higher cost)
... thus releasing many more seats for the public.
HKRFC : have you ever thought of this ?
or you could just join a rugby club as a social member and support local rugby.



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