- Publish Date
- Monday, 22 May 2017, 2:31PM
Hamilton will be the home of the New Zealand leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for 2018 and 2019.
Wellington's Westpac Stadium has hosted the event since 2000 but crowd numbers have dwindled in recent years from the glory days when the tournament would sell out in a matter of hours.
The announcement of the shift was made by New Zealand Rugby's Chief Strategy and Operations Officer Nigel Cass at FMG Stadium Waikato today.
Cass said Hamilton offered a world-class stadium built for rugby fans, a central location for travelling fans, and most of all, a host community that loves rugby.
"Hamilton and the Waikato region are rugby mad and we're looking forward to introducing international sevens to the local community and for visiting fans from around New Zealand to experience the heart of rugby in New Zealand.
"We are confident our partners in Hamilton will deliver an exceptional tournament that fans will love on the weekend of 3 and 4 February."
Cass said moving the international tournament from Wellington was not a decision made lightly, but it was time to start a new chapter for the tournament in New Zealand.
"We delivered 18 years of good times and great tournaments in the capital, thanks to the exceptional teams we worked with at Wellington City Council, WREDA, Westpac Stadium, Police, hospitality industry and our fantastic volunteers. I have nothing but praise for all those who contributed to the Wellington Sevens for almost two decades."
This article originally appeared in the NZ Herald and was republished here with permission