The annual USA Sevens tournament returns to Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium this weekend. Here’s why you can’t miss the three-day event.
1. You’ll Bear Witness to the Largest Rugby Event in North America
Held annually at Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium since 2010, the USA Sevens rugby tournament is our continent’s largest celebration of the sport, routinely drawing more than 60,000 fans to watch as 16 teams from around the globe face off against each other. The event, just one of nine stops on the HSBC Sevens World Series circuit, has grown so much that it’s now broadcast on NBC Sports both domestically and internationally.
2. You’ll Join the Legions of Fans Who Have Made Rugby the Quickest-Growing Sport in the U.S.
According to Dan Lyle, executive vice president of United World Sports, the organization responsible for coordinating the USA Sevens tournament, rugby is the U.S.’s fastest-growing sport in terms of both participation and viewership (further proof: Bloomberg reports the sport grew in popularity by an overwhelming 81 percent between 2008 and 2013).
3. You’ll See the World’s Fastest Rugby Player in Action
The title belongs to U.S. Eagles player Carlin Isles, a former track and field star who was recruited to play professional rugby in 2012. Isles spent time playing for Scotland’s Glasgow Warriors before returning to American soil, where he joined the U.S. national team as a wing (usually the quickest player on the team and oftentimes responsible for scoring). He’s optimistic about the Eagles’ performance in the HSBC Sevens World Series, even going so far as to remark, “We’re already scaring a lot of people.”
4. You’ll Get a Real Idea of What to Expect in Rio in 2016
Rugby sevens, or rugby played with seven players per team, will be included in the 2016 Olympics Games for the first time since 1924. In addition, this year’s HSBC Sevens World Series event is part of the Olympic qualifying rounds, meaning the series’ top four overall teams will automatically qualify for the 2016 games.
5. Not Into Sports? You're in Luck... There's Plenty to See Besides Rugby
Also on the schedule of events: rallies, parades, concerts, hosted parties at the Fremont Street Experience and several Strip restaurants and nightclubs, amateur competitions, and even a golf tournament. “It’s a perfect marriage,” Lyle says of the pairing of USA Sevens with Sin City. “Las Vegas is fast, exciting, engaging, and a festival in itself. Rugby sevens shares those characteristics and promotes players who are eye-catching and take risks.”
Sam Boyd Stadium will host the 2015 USA Sevens rugby tournament from Friday, February 13, through Sunday, February 15. To purchase tickets, click here.