Las Vegas Becoming a Global Hub for Rugby

Photo by Jack Megaw with USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament and Festival

The 2017 USA Sevens will be held at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas from March 3-5, 2017, with over 80,000 people expected to attend. 

Rugby has been a growing sport in the U.S., with nearly 16,000 attendees at the first tournament in 2004 to over 80,000 last year, seeing an increase in attendance each year (with 2011 marking the first year it switched to a three-day format and was first televised by NBC).

The USA Sevens is one of the ten stops on the current Sevens World Series. Of the ten cities, Las Vegas had the highest television viewership last season, reaching nearly 3 million viewers. Dubai, South Africa, England, and Hong Kong all have recorded higher attendances than Vegas, however, meaning there is plenty of room to increase the sport's popularity in the U.S.

To make room for the expected attendees, the USA Sevens has partnered with seven Las Vegas hotels, which offer discounted rates, food and beverage specials, and shuttles to Sam Boyd Stadium. Participating hotels include: Wynn, Aria, Monte Carlo, SLS Las Vegas, Luxor, Excalibur, and Westgate.

Participants staying at Westgate, the official hotel of the tournament, can save $200 on team registration and all attending guests can even earn a free Lyft ride with a coupon.  

With the expansion of the sport, United World Sports (UWS) has promoted Jon Hinkin to tournament director.

The former star and national champion has been with UWS since its inception in 2006, and has created and built what is now the Las Vegas Invitational, which consists of over 270 teams from 25 countries and is played congruently with the USA Sevens in Las Vegas. He has also held competition management positions in UWS events including the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship in Philadelphia, the Pro Soccer Challenge, the Penn Mutual Varsity Cup, and is listed as an inventor of Super Sevens rugby.

As the largest annual rugby event in the United States, the USA Sevens has established Las Vegas as a domestic and global hub for the sport. The USA Sevens has evolved from a one-day tournament to a full week of events including an Olympics-style Parade of Nations hosted at Fremont Street Experience; a 5,000 player amateur competition; autograph sessions throughout the city; concerts; a massive international food, beer, and wine festival; and a rugby-inspired Adopt-A-Country Program developed in coordination with Clark County District Schools

With Hinkins leading the way, rugby in Vegas will likely become more and more popular, meaning sports tourism in the city can be increasing rapidly in the coming years. 

To book a room, view the schedule of events, or learn more about rugby sevens, visit www.usasevens.com/las-vegas.