Truly a treat for rugby fans, Bill Edwards, owner of the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies and the St. Pete/Clearwater Sports Commission are teaming to bring American Rugby 7’s to Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg.
The Halloween Rugby 7s Elite Invitational will be played from 1 p.m. to 6.p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1. As part of the build-up to weekend activities, the Rugby World Cup Final in England, broadcast live on NBC, will be shown.
‘It is mission-critical for USA Rugby to support the accelerated growth of rugby sevens in America in any way possible,” said Nigel Melville, CEO of USA Rugby. “We are proud to sanction this elite-level tournament as not only a destination event for rugby fans across the United States, but also as a highly competitive training and scouting event for our Men’s National Sevens team. Our players need every opportunity possible to compete at an international level in preparation for the 2016 Olympics and beyond.”
Eight, hand-selected elite men’s rugby sevens teams will compete in a round-robin style format in the intimate, 7,500-seat Al Lang stadium, with the winner taking a rare $10,000 prize purse. The event will showcase several international All-Star teams including the Canada Maple Leafs and the USA Falcons—A team featuring USA Olympic hopefuls. Four elite USA All-Star sevens teams will also compete for the grand prize, including United States Military Selects, NYC 7s, Denver Men’s Selects, and Columbus 7s.
“We are so excited and honored that these elite teams have accepted our invitation to play in St. Petersburg this fall. We plan to showcase the high energy and wildly entertaining sport of rugby sevens surrounded by a festival of fun and live entertainment,” said Karyne Bazzano, Founder and CEO of American Rugby 7s. “Sevens is a true fan’s sport; fast, physical, and high-scoring. The festival’s live music, contests and costumes will add to the fun.”
Compliments of St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, American Rugby 7s is also partnering to provide the live streaming broadcast of the Halloween 7s Elite Invitational on USA Rugby TV through the Eversport.tv network.
“Eversport is excited to stream the America’s Rugby 7s’ inaugural tournament and support further the growing importance of Rugby in the USA and beyond,” said Carl Kirchhoff, President of Eversport. “Rugby is a fast-paced team sport which has been performing very well on Eversport reaching fans via web, mobile and OTT.”
Tickets for the Halloween Rugby 7s Elite Invitational can be purchased starting Monday, Sept. 14 at HalloweenRugby7s.com. Follow the event at facebook.com/halloweenrugby7s and on twitter @Halloween7s.