For the first time after Covid-19 struck, the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens event begins on Friday.
Chris Brooke, head of the Hong Kong Rugby Union, asserted that demand to attend the tournament is still high even if the city’s pandemic laws are still severe.
A great weekend is something that I believe many are anticipating. Although those limitations exist, Brooke said he didn’t believe they detract from the Sevens’ main attractions, which include outstanding rugby, entertainment, and a joyful weekend.
The 40,000-seat Hong Kong Stadium will host the competition, however, the government has limited attendance to 34,000 spectators each day by capping seat capacity at 85% of capacity.
According to Brooke, around 26,500 tickets have been sold, with most guests probably hailing from Hong Kong.
The three-day athletic event could have easily drawn 120,000 spectators before the outbreak. Half of the attendance in 2019 came from outside the country, and the event brought in about $400 million Hong Kong dollars ($50 million) for the local economy.
This year’s Hong Kong Rugby Sevens will include 16 teams instead of the customary 24. Additionally, there won’t be a women’s event this time.
The five-time defending champions from Fiji will take on Japan in their opening game on Friday. The laws
Many of Hong Kong’s pandemic regulations are still in effect despite the fact that the region’s neighbors have mostly abandoned their Covid-19 restrictions.
Spectators will be placed in groups of 12 and will be required to wear face masks at all times while they are not eating food or beverages.
Attendees are needed to show a Leave Home Safe Vaccine Pass and a photo of a quick antigen test with their name and date in order to comply with government regulations.
Like athletes were kept safe at the Winter Olympics in Beijing earlier this year, players must abide by Covid rules and remain inside a quarantine bubble.
They seem to be enjoying themselves a lot. To ensure they can enter the pitch, they are extremely pleased to go through that process.
The Hong Kong Rugby Union, whose main source of income is the Rugby Sevens, has had a tough time navigating the regulations.
The firm, according to Brooke, had to drastically reduce spending during the previous two years and reduce personnel by 50%.
We have always tried to lessen this pre-Covid as well, as we are aware of the Sevens’ need. We understand that finding other sources of income is important.
Although it is difficult, I believe that moving forward, the main objective will be to make sure that our money from the Sevens competition is well-balanced with our other sources of income.
Even yet, Brooke is confident that the rugby union is progressing on the right path and is looking forward to 2023’s matchups between local and foreign fans.
I believe it really benefits the local community and certainly improves [Hong Kong’s] standing as an international center, so it would be fantastic if we could have these huge events going over the next three to four months.