30 Jan 2017

Sevens in the south - is it a goer?

7:52 pm on 30 January 2017

Dunedin's Mayor Dave Cull is cautiously optimistic a Sevens in the south could be possible, as New Zealand Rugby considers the future of the Wellington Sevens.

Crowds at the Wellington Sevens in 2012.

Crowds at the Wellington Sevens in 2012. Photo: Photosport

Only 20,000 people in total turned up for the two days of the latest tournament, which New Zealand rugby general manager Nigel Cass said did not make for a viable event.

He said a review of the tournament over the next few weeks would consider whether a new host city needed to be found, or whether New Zealand would give up hosting the event altogether.

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There were plenty of empty seats in 2017. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"It may well be that the event is better somewhere else, but we're not in a position to make that decision at this point."

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said if Wellington was not working, organisers should turn their eyes southwards.

The city's community had a reputation for getting behind events, he said.

Dunedin railway station sign

Could Dunedin be the future for the Sevens tournament? Photo: 123RF

Mr Cull said Dunedin would have to consider whether the Sevens was sustainable as an event and whether it could be held at a time when its 25,000 students were in the city.

He said Dunedin has held Rugby World Cup games and major events such as Fleetwood Mac and accommodated visitors.

He was not aware any negotiations about holding the Sevens in Dunedin had taken place.

Mayor Dave Cull is a lightning rod for disaffection.

Mayor Dave Cull says the whole community gets behind events in Dunedin. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

Mr Cull said Dunedin's stadium management team was in constant negotiations regarding all sorts of events - and this could be one of them.

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