Scottish Rugby has announced that the world famous HSBC Sevens World Series is coming to Glasgow.
The event, seen in more than 140 countries worldwide and with a following of over 200 million, will be held at Scotstoun Stadium on the weekend of 5 and 6 of May in 2012.
The move of the event from its traditional home in Edinburgh will give the people of Glasgow a chance to savour the unique festival atmosphere that a sevens tournament of this size and scale can deliver. It puts Glasgow on the international circuit of sevens which also takes in Hong Kong, Dubai and Australia’s Gold Coast.
First Minister Alex Salmond, commenting on the launch while on a visit to Hong Kong with Scottish Rugby representatives, said: “Scotland is well known as the home of rugby sevens and it will be tremendous to see this global spectacular staged in Glasgow. It is a city that knows how to put on a show and I have no doubt that come May, the people of Glasgow will take great pride in staging another major international event.
“Sevens has come a long way since Ned Haig came up with a way to raise money for Melrose Rugby Club back in 1883; it’s now a global brand, followed by millions around the world. But Scotland is its heritage, its heartbeat and we plan on putting on the best event in the series.
“I’m very pleased that we are part of the launch today and we look forward to working with Scottish Rugby and all those involved in making the event a world-wide success.”
The game of sevens was invented in the Scottish Border town of Melrose in 1883, so the Home of the Sevens will be host to the Best of the Sevens. Scotstoun Stadium, soon to be home to the Glasgow Warriors rugby team, will see 16 teams from across the world competing and 15 thousand fans descend on the site each day for the penultimate leg of the World Series.
The stadium will see two temporary stands built to take the capacity to three times its current level. In keeping with the atmosphere of the unique global tournament there will be live entertainment, a food court and the event will be licensed.
It will be the first time a sevens tournament of this scale has been played in Glasgow.
Present at the launch, IRB Vice Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Scotland is the Home of Sevens and today’s announcement represents a further boost for the sport as we count down to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and rugby’s return to the Olympic Games stage in Rio in 2016.”
“We are confident that the Scottish Rugby’s commitment to deliver a spectacular round of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Glasgow in 2012 and 2013 will be a huge success and engage new fans throughout Glasgow, across Scotland and from further afield.”
President of Scottish Rugby, Ian McLauchlan, said: “When the HSBC Sevens World Series comes to Glasgow it will be an incredible atmosphere, a festival atmosphere and we plan on putting on a party for this city in conjunction with our partners in Glasgow. There will be world class players here but the crowd makes the sevens. We want everyone in Glasgow to be part of this party, whether you’re a die-hard rugby supporter or just curious about what all the fuss is about.
“What you will see is an exhibition of world-class rugby that few places in the world get to enjoy. I’d also like to thank all our partners especially the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council for securing this event in Glasgow. I know we will all be working flat out to put on a real show in the coming years. ”
Scottish Rugby also announced two former international stars will act as Ambassadors for the Glasgow event. Scott Hastings won 65 test caps for Scotland from 1985 to 1997 and was twice a member of the British Lions. He is now much in demand in the world of media.
Thom Evans is a former Scotland 7s player himself and played 10 times for his country before injury prompted early retirement from the game. A gifted sprinter, Thom is now eyeing a place on the Scotland team for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Tickets for the event are on sale now at the price of just £10 for those who buy before the end of the RBS 6 Nations (17 March). All concessions are at half the equivalent adult price. Tickets will be sold for particular stands and designated days, with two-day ‘weekend’ tickets also available.