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Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is again. Rugby union says demand is excessive regardless of Covid measures

Demand to attend Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is high despite Covid rules: Hong Kong Rugby Union

The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens match kicks off Friday for the primary time since Covid-19 hit.

Whereas the town’s pandemic rules stay strict, Chris Brooke, chairman of the Hong Kong Rugby Union, claimed demand to attend the occasion stays excessive.

“I believe individuals are wanting ahead to a enjoyable weekend. These restrictions are there however I do not suppose it takes away from the important thing elements of the Sevens — which is nice rugby, leisure and a enjoyable weekend,” Brooke stated. 

The match might be held on the 40,000-seat Hong Kong Stadium, however the authorities has capped seats at 85% capability, permitting solely as much as 34,000 spectators every day. Brooke stated about 26,500 tickets have been offered and a majority of attendees are more likely to be Hong Kong residents.

Earlier than the pandemic, the three day sporting occasion may simply draw a complete of 120,000 spectators. In 2019, abroad guests accounted for half of attendees and the match contributed roughly 400 million Hong Kong {dollars} ($50 million) to the town’s economic system, in response to Reuters.

As a substitute of the same old 24 groups, solely 16 groups might be competing on the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens this 12 months. There will even be no girls’s match this time round.

The Fiji workforce has gained the match 5 occasions in a row and can play their first match towards Japan on Friday.

The principles

Regardless of regional neighbors abandoning most of their Covid-19 measures, a lot of Hong Kong’s pandemic guidelines stay in place.

On the match, spectators might be seated in teams of 12 and must preserve their face masks on always when they aren’t consuming meals or drinks, in response to the Hong Kong Sevens web site. 

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In accordance with authorities’s guidelines, attendees are required to current their Go away Dwelling Secure Vaccine Go and a photograph of a speedy antigen take a look at with their title and date, the location stated. 

Gamers are additionally topic to Covid rules and should keep inside a quarantine bubble, just like how athletes have been saved protected through the Winter Olympics in Beijing earlier this 12 months. 

“They’re very optimistic about being right here … They’re very completely satisfied to undergo that course of to ensure they will get on the pitch,” stated Brooke. 

Navigating the foundations has been troublesome for the Hong Kong Rugby Union, which depends on the Rugby Sevens for many of its income. 

Brooke stated the group needed to considerably minimize spending during the last two years and slashed headcount by 50%. 

“We have at all times been conscious of the reliance on the Sevens and we have at all times been making an attempt to scale back that pre-Covid as effectively … We acknowledge that we have to have a look at different income streams,” Brooke stated.

“It’s fairly difficult, however I believe the main focus going ahead might be to make sure that we have a superb steadiness between the Sevens revenue and different income sources,” he added. 

Nonetheless, Brooke is optimistic that the rugby union is shifting in the fitting course and is hoping for a superb mixture of native and worldwide spectators in 2023. 

“It might be nice if we will get these main occasions going over the subsequent three to 4 months as a result of I believe it actually helps the area people and clearly helps [Hong Kong’s] standing as a world hub.” 

This text was initially revealed by Learn the unique article right here.

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