Rugby Posts go up at home of San Francisco Giants
With the Sevens World Cup just weeks away, it’s time to get excited. The best men’s and women’s teams in the world will descend on San Francisco – the first time a major international rugby event has been hosted in the United States – as they hunt down the Melrose Cup and Women’s Championship Cup.
From Friday 20 July until Sunday 22 July, we’ll see sizzling sevens action at At&T Park. That may sound like a bit of a novelty, with the picturesque ballpark set in McCovey Cove on the San Francisco Bay known more for swinging bats and zipping baseballs, but believe us when we say that the resident San Francisco Giants club are all-in for the rugby event.
Related: Sevens player survey revealed
“We’ve been working on the process for the last three years,” explains Greg Elliott, the director of field operations at the ballpark.
It’ll be no mean feat to turn this iconic baseball diamond into a field fit for sevens. Some 30-40 crew members (not including contractors) will convert the baseball field after the last out is recorded in the match between the Giants and Oakland A’s on Sunday 15 July. For context, a typical baseball crew is about 20 people.
In 2010 the Giants installed portable pitchers mounds, they have been working with surveyors to plan for a change of field, 55,000 square feet of sod has been grown on plastic, and 23-cubic yards of cement have been poured to accommodate the rugby posts.
The operation itself to change from a diamond into a rugby pitch will be exhausting. “We’ll be ready by Thursday 19 July,” Elliott says. “Teams want to have their walk-throughs then. My personal goal is to remove the infield overnight and work to about two or three in the morning, have that prepped and then logistically start moving the infield material out into the storage area.
“And then once we have that the playing area is done, we can shift our emphasis to the warning track, and the warm-up areas.”
As you can see from the video above, the Giants took a dry run at installing posts. How was that?
Elliott explains: “It was pretty neat; it was pretty fun to do. It’s a good visual when you see the goalposts you understand the magnitude of… It’s pretty cool. We are excited; we just have a calm approach to it.”
Rugby World’s Sevens World Cup coverage in association with Tudor Watch