World Rugby has announced that Vancouver will join the global line-up of major city destinations for the Sevens World Series from 2015/16.
A renowned international tourism, business and major sports event destination, the event will take place at the impressive and innovative indoor BC Place stadium in the heart of the city.
Rugby Canada’s successful Vancouver bid follows an extensive and competitive tender process that saw 25 destinations bid to host the Olympic sport and comes with the full support of national and provincial government that reflects rugby sevens’ enormous appeal in the global sports hosting marketplace.
"As we move towards Rio 2016, the Olympic sport of rugby sevens is going from strength to strength and the World Rugby Sevens Series has been at the heart of the global sevens success story with its winning brand of high-octane competitive and broadcast- friendly action, global locations and festival atmosphere," said World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
"Vancouver is world-renowned event location and a city with a tremendous track record of hosting incredible events, like the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Its inclusion within a stellar Series hosting line-up is great for players, great for fans and great for the ongoing prosperity and development of rugby in Canada and around the globe.
"Vancouver’s inclusion is exciting for World Rugby and will boost the sport’s ability to inspire fans in established and developing rugby markets, and contribute to the continued growth of the game and its character-building values worldwide."
The successful brand positioning behind the bid New Place, New Face, New Force reflects Rugby Canada’s bold vision for the growth of the sport and fan base through the dynamism of rugby sevens. The World Rugby Sevens Series brings a unique fan experience leveraging entertainment, and an unrivalled atmosphere that is proving to be a hit in major cities around the globe.
"Rugby Canada is incredibly excited to be hosting an official stop on the World Rugby Sevens Series in 2016," said Rugby Canada Chief Executive Graham Brown.
"Hosting an event of this calibre, and bringing the world to Vancouver, is a huge opportunity to grow and strengthen rugby in Canada. Canadians from coast-to-coast will undoubtedly get behind our men’s sevens team at BC Place, especially with the excitement of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Summer Games on the horizon later that year."
Bid-Committee Co-Chairman John Furlong added: "The tournament builds on the hosting legacy of Vancouver 2010. There is nothing like playing the best in the world at home in a full stadium. Canadian fans will see Canada’s rising rugby stars face such powerhouse teams as the All Blacks, Springboks, Wallabies and more in an electrifying, non-stop atmosphere with the world watching."
The first of a series of announcements outlining the 10 locations and dates that will comprise the World Rugby Sevens Series and the Series commercial programme, the news was marked in style in Vancouver today as Canada’s men’s and women’s national teams combined with children to relay a rugby ball from Victoria to Vancouver.
With qualification well underway for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, South Africa lead the current Series standings after five rounds. The last round in Las Vegas, won by Fiji, saw a location-record 75,000 fans attend over the course of the tournament.
With thanks to World Rugby