Cape Town to re-tender to host World Series Sevens
The last thing that SA Rugby boss Jurie Roux wants to do is enter an evaluation process to host a World Rugby event in South Africa after last month’s failed Rugby World Cup 2023 bid.
But that’s exactly what is about to happen as the Cape Town leg of the World Sevens Series comes up for renewal.
“We are at the end of a cycle in the World Series and all host cities have to re-tender‚” Roux said.
“I think it’s a no brainer (that Cape Town will retain its status)‚ but I said the same about the RWC 2023 bid (which went to France despite SA being named as the preferred bidder by an independent evaluation committee).
“But I’m confident because this is one of the most successful tournaments on circuit.
"And even though we’re not supposed to mention it too loudly‚ every year there is an internal award voted by participating teams for the best event on circuit and SA has just won it for the third time.”
The current World Series circuit sees 10 tournaments played in iconic cities across the globe from Dubai to Cape Town‚ to Las Vegas‚ Sydney‚ Hong Kong‚ London and Paris.
This week’s event at the Cape Town Stadium is the last on the current cycle‚ but Roux is confident that re-tendering for the event is a formality.
In addition to the internal recognition the Cape Town Sevens enjoys‚ it has been voted the best live sports experience in SA at the Discovery Sports Industry Awards for the past two years.
Last year over 115,000 people attended the two-days – the biggest attendance on the circuit‚ underlining the tournament’s status alongside Hong Kong as the most important on circuit.
“The past two years of hosting this tournament has added tremendous value to the city and its people‚ who made this one of the top events in Cape Town‚” said the city’s executive mayor Patricia De Lille.
“In 2016 the tournament’s total direct impact on the city’s economy was R432m and resulted in the employment of 1400 people while also showcasing Cape Town as an international destination through global TV coverage.”
Roux explained that the process was not like bidding for a RWC‚ and that evaluations of World Sevens Series events were on-going.
“There is an annual evaluation and you have to submit documents for a sub-committee review‚” Roux said.
“They use several criteria such as attendance‚ player‚ team and manager tournament evaluations and viewership numbers.
"Then there is all the fluffy stuff such as destination division and then they rank them.
“World Rugby will look at the bottom tournaments and assess whether there are alternatives and if there is interest from other cities to host.
"It’s a really costly affair if you are not successful.
“And then they make a recommendation to the World Rugby Council for ratification.
“It’s unlikely that the dates of the tournament will change because it works in a pairing basis and Dubai and SA work well together.
"I don’t see Dubai moving and therefore I don’t see Cape Town moving time slots either.
“There are some discussions about player welfare because 10 tournaments is a lot.
"Players are pretty broken by the end of the Series‚ but I don’t see dates changing although one or two host cities might change.”