Organisers of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series have announced that the championship will return to the US city of Las Vegas in 2017.
The event will take place from March 3-5 at Sam Boyd Stadium and will coincide with the men’s competition. It will mark the return of the women’s US event to Las Vegas after it moved to Atlanta in 2014.
The Las Vegas competition will be the third of six stops on the Women’s Sevens Series calendar for 2016-17. It will be the fifth stop on the men’s calendar.
Dan Payne, chief executive of the USA Rugby governing body, said.: “The tournament in Las Vegas has become not just the largest rugby event in the United States, but one of the biggest overall weekends in Las Vegas in terms of tourism and spending, and this will just add another level of elite competition, pageantry and interest to the city and to our fast-growing sport.”
The 2016-17 Women’s Sevens Series gets underway in Dubai tomorrow (Thursday), before moving to Sydney in Australia on February 3-4. The Las Vegas event will then follow before the series travels to Kitakyushu in Japan on April 22-23. Langford in Canada will host the penultimate event on May 27-28, with the series wrapping up in Clermont-Ferrand, France on June 24-25.
Australia won the 2015-16 Women’s Sevens Series and followed up the success by picking up gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics, in what marked rugby sevens’ first appearance at a Games.
Sports and entertainment group United World Sports, which organises a number of leading rugby tournaments in the US, worked with World Rugby and USA Rugby to help return the Women’s Sevens Series to Las Vegas.
Over 80,000 spectators are expected to turn out for the three-day event in Las Vegas, bringing in a projected sum of over $30m (€28.1m) to the local economy.