While a large group of Vancouverites will gather for any showing by the Canucks, the Lions, or the Whitecaps, another sport has found a significant following here on the West Coast.
The 2017 HSBC Canada Sevens Series has just set a Canadian rugby crowd record, anticipating 76,000 attendees during the March 11–12 tournament.
The number eclipses last year’s record-holding crowd of 60,418 by 26%.
The uptick in attendees is partially due to an increase in capacity at BC Place, with extra spots in the 54,500-seat arena being made available in response to last year’s popularity and the high demand for tickets over the past months.
The event organizers opened up an extra section of the venue, making 37,758 of the 54,500 seats available, reaching the 76,000 mark across the two-day event.
It is clear from the numbers that rugby’s popularity is on the rise here in Vancouver, something that Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen is excited to see.
“We are thrilled to see the growing interest and passion for the game of rugby sevens in Canada,” Vansen said in a release. “The team is honoured to be showcasing their sport at home not only to family and friends, but to a growing and passionate rugby sevens fan base.”
This is only the second year of the HSBC Canada Sevens Series, though it is ready to build on the momentum of last year’s inaugural tournament, according to Canada Sevens CEO Bill Cooper.
“We are ecstatic to be back with year two of this tournament. Year one taught us about the calibre of reception that fans in Vancouver, BC and Canada put on for world-class events such as the HSBC Canada Sevens,” Cooper said in a release. “And we expect this year to deliver unparalleled atmosphere once again as sevens fever takes hold.”
The tournament will also be broadcasted on TSN and TSN2, or via online streaming using the TSNGo app or at worldrugby.org.
Where: BC Place – 777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver
When: Saturday, March 11 to Sunday, March 12
Tickets: At canadasevens.com, $55 – $475