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Vegas Puts Out Red Carpet for 7s

Friday Jul 24, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby USA 7s

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When the USA 7s LLC, the company which owns and stages the USA 7s event as part of the IRB Sevens Series, met recently in New York for a company strategy session, the star was Pat Christianson, president of Las Vegas Events, who let the group know they will be welcoming them to Vegas next February with open arms (not to mention plenty of hotel rooms).

LVE is a non-profit organization funded by the hotel room tax in Las Vegas. The organization’s job is to not only attract events to the Las Vegas area, but to ensure they are successful and popular, thus bringing more tourism to the city.

Christianson helped spearhead the growth of the National Rodeo Finals, which has been in Vegas for several years and sells out every year. LVE handles booking of Sam Boyd Stadium, and in fact is the main contact for USA 7s for almost all aspects of the event and its related activities, including the Las Vegas Invitational rugby tournament.

“Pat showed how important our event is to them,” said Mark Reilly, who is Head of the Rugby Business Group which handles the USA 7s tournament. “He took time out from his personal vacation to come speak to us.”

“It’s pretty clear that the overall amenities that are being packaged to provide to the fans are going to be very exciting,” said USA 7s managing director Ray Peterson. “The cost of attending will be decreased and the level of entertainment and quality of entertainment will be very high. Pat’s ideas and attitude were right in line with ours.”

Las Vegas Events is unveiling a new Signature Events program, where they pick a small number of events each year to promote even more heavily. The National Rodeo Finals is one, USA 7s will be another.

Noting that there are 100,000 hotel rooms within five miles of the Las Vegas airport, Christianson made it clear he was interested in helping secure good hotel rates for fans coming to the area.

LVE will help USA 7s formulate a shuttle bus plan to get fans to the stadium (and back).

LVE will work with USA 7s in installing grass turf in the stadium for the event, expanding VIP areas, and setting up the adjacent fields for the Las Vegas Invitational.

LVE and USA 7s will collaborate on a series of satellite events and celebrations in the city.

Some hotels are already booking acts (music and other entertainment) popular among fans from different rugby-playing nations.

Details on special hotel and entertainment deals will be coming soon.

- Alex Goff
Alex  Goff is editor-in-chief of ERugbyNews, which is owned by the same company that run the USA 7s.

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