HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will be in a new American city starting in 2020.
The USA Sevens will have a new home, beginning in 2020.
Where-to isn’t yet known, but sources confirmed to Postmedia that this year’s edition will be the last time it’s in Las Vegas. An official announcement is expected soon.
Las Vegas has hosted the USA Sevens since 2010.
The move comes after years of poor ratings by players and coaches, who have never been happy with having to stay in hotels that are still filled with cigarette smoke and have drunken fans spilling on to their floors from time to time, as well as the challenges presented by Sam Boyd Stadium, both on and off the pitch.
The stadium’s artificial turf, for instance, had been heavily criticized by competing teams; the pitch itself is one of the narrowest in international rugby and the sidelines are very tight to the stands, which has raised concerns more than once about player safety.
The artificial turf was replaced with natural grass two years ago and has been reviewed more positively by the players.
The future of Sam Boyd Stadium was also up in the air, as the pending move of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas includes the construction of a publicly-owned stadium on the Las Vegas Strip. The University of Nevada-Las Vegas, which has played football at Sam Boyd since the 1970s, is set to be a tenant at the new stadium. That has led to speculation that Sam Boyd would be demolished.
The new stadium is not expected to be ready until the summer of 2020, leaving the tournament potentially without a home.
29 February – 1 March, 2020: Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, USA – men’s standalone event