Sevens to continue partying in Wellington
14 August 2006Â
By TOBY ROBSON
Wellington has retained hosting rights for the cash cow rugby sevens annual tournament for five more years.
The New Zealand Rugby Union announced the deal yesterday. Wellington's win is in contrast to a competition shake-up which has led to two other venues, Los Angeles and Singapore, losing their tournaments.
The capital has also fended off bids from other cities, particularly Auckland, to stage the annual tournament for the next five years.
NZRU deputy chief executive Steve Tew said it had not been a difficult choice, with Wellington turning the February spectacle into one of the country's biggest sporting events.
Positively Wellington Tourism chief executive Tim Cossar said the decision was a $40 million to $50 million boon for the region.
"We have always said it's worth about $8 million to $10 million a year that it makes for the economy and we have no reasons to think it will change significantly during that period."
Mr Cossar said interest in the popular tournament had remained consistently high since it started in 2000. "The number of people coming in from out of town and staying in hotels has held and the flurry around bars, restaurants and cafes is still very strong. There's been seven years so far and I think you could safely say it's generated $40 million to $50 million."
AdvertisementAdvertisementMr Cossar said evidence suggested those figures would remain steady for the next five years.
"A lot of events have life cycles, but this one has not shown any signs of reaching that yet. I think it has limits in the way we add spend over and above what it's doing now. You can't put people in beds that are not there."
San Diego and Adelaide have replaced Los Angeles and Singapore respectively with the remaining events in Dubai, South Africa, Hong Kong and London. The eighth host country has yet to be announced.