Rugby: S'pore Sevens organisers confident of hitting daily target of 30,000 fans, baby-sitting services offered in bid to draw more

VIDEO: RUGBY SINGAPORE
South Africa's Rosko Specman scores a try during the World Rugby Sevens Series final match South Africa vs England, on Dec 11, 2016, in Cape Town.
South Africa's Rosko Specman scores a try during the World Rugby Sevens Series final match South Africa vs England, on Dec 11, 2016, in Cape Town. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Organisers of the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens are confident of hitting their initial target of bringing in 60,000 fans when the tournament returns in April.

With 80 days before the April 15-16 competition at the National Stadium, Rugby Singapore announced on Wednesday (Jan 25) that it had sold about 15,000 two-day passes and is on track to draw crowds of around 30,000 on each day of the Easter weekend.

Rugby Singapore chairman Low Teo Ping said: "What's also encouraging is that we've sold more premium tickets at this point compared to last year. We will roll out targeted campaigns after Chinese New Year aimed at families and the tertiary institutions."

All the $300 Platinum passes, which have reserved seating, complimentary food and beverage and access to the Exclusive Platinum Seating Bar nearby, have been sold while 50 per cent of the $200 Premium passes, which exclude complimentary food and beverage, have been sold. The $50 Category 2 tickets are also sold out.

Besides rolling out community engagement programmes and fringe events like the South-east Asia Sevens tournament and a "Midnight 7s" women's tournament with 12 to 16 local and regional rugby clubs in days leading up to the Singapore Sevens, Rugby Singapore will also introduce baby-sitting services (blocks of three hours and run by a professional agency) at the National Stadium during the weekend.

Last year saw the Singapore Sevens make a much-anticipated return to the sporting calendar after 10 years. The 2016 edition was the first of a four-year deal with World Rugby to host a leg of the prestigious HSBC Sevens World Series.

A crowd of 27,370 watched as Kenya defeated eventual series champions Fiji 30-7 in the 2016 Singapore Sevens final. Last year's tournament drew a two-day average of 25,000 to the Singapore Sports Hub.

This year will see another 16 world-class teams, led by Olympic champions Fiji, powerhouses New Zealand and South Africa, compete in the Republic. There will be two Asian sides as well, with Hong Kong as a wildcard team joining Japan.

Matches will start at 11am, two hours later than the 2016 edition, to allow more fans to catch the earlier games. Each day's on-field action will end around 9pm.

Tickets in the remaining categories can be purchased online at singapore7s.sg