Under a cloud ... fans stayed away in droves for the final between Fiji and South Africaat Westpac Stadium
Under a cloud ... fans stayed away in droves for the final between Fiji and South Africaat Westpac Stadium Phil Walter

Empty seats put Wellington Sevens in firing line

RUGBY SEVENS: New Zealand Rugby will decide in March whether to allow the Wellington Sevens to continue.

Fewer than 10,000 fans turned out for each of the two days of competition at Westpac Stadium - a far cry from the halcyon days when the event attracted 34,000.

It is believed a restriction on alcohol has impacted on what was a popular party-style event.

Nigel Cass, NZ Rugby's manager strategic relationships and planning, said not only was the lack of crowd impacting the the Wellington Sevens' commercial viability but also the general atmosphere.

"It might be that the fans have spoken and it's really tough to change,” Cass said.

"But you don't walk away from 18 years, which on the whole has been successful, without looking under every rock.”

The Wellington Sevens was won by South Africa. The World Series heads to Sydney this weekend.


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