Is its boozy reputation putting punters off the Wellington Sevens?

Author
Alicia Burrow,
Publish Date
Sat, 28 Jan 2017, 8:05PM
NZ Herald/@wellysevens
NZ Herald/@wellysevens

Is its boozy reputation putting punters off the Wellington Sevens?

Author
Alicia Burrow,
Publish Date
Sat, 28 Jan 2017, 8:05PM

Negative media coverage is being blamed for a lack of people in seats at Wellington's Rugby Sevens.

The global rugby tournament is selling out in Vancouver and almost sold out in Sydney.

But if today's anything to go by New Zealanders don't seem so keen.

Just over a third of the seats at Westpac Stadium were occupied as players entered the field.

That's about 10,000 people.

Stadium chief executive Shane Harmon told Tony Veitch the event isn't plagued by drunken behaviour any more.

But he said they're having difficulty shaking the negative connotations linking alcohol and rugby:

"It's a real struggle to get past the negativity. For anyone reading the New Zealand media over the last couple of weeks and thinking of going to the sevens, you can see what changed their minds."

Harmon added the tickets are almost twice the price of the Sydney matches.

New Zealand Rugby along with Wellington City Council will be responsible for deciding if the event is now too small for the stadium.