31 Jan 2013

Capital buzzing as Sevens readies for kickoff

9:25 pm on 31 January 2013

More than 40,000 extra people will pack out Wellington this weekend as New Zealand's biggest sports festival, rugby's Sevens tournament, gets underway.

Fans cheer on the New Zealand Sevens team.

Fans cheer on the New Zealand Sevens team. Photo: RNZ

Bands gave the parade a party atmosphere.

Bands gave the parade a party atmosphere. Photo: RNZ

The pre-games parade on Thursday attracted big crowds vying for a glimpse of the 16 international teams ahead of the first day of games at Westpac Stadium.

The sun was out and so were thousands of people in central Wellington. Crowds cheered for their favourite teams travelling down Lambton Quay on floats with dressed up musicians and dancers, setting the scene for the weekend ahead.

New Zealand captain DJ Forbes said he was overwhelmed by the turnout.

Thirty-five thousand people will fill the stadium on Friday and Saturday, and Hospitality New Zealand expects another 20,000 visitors to the capital.

Positively Wellington Tourism says Sevens tournament brings in about $16 million.

For those planning to drink this weekend, police say officers are upping the anti on the security front and people need to make sure they drink responsibly and keep hydrated.

Free water will be available along the waterfront on both days.