Public Ticket Ballot Opens

1 November, 2014

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After the positive public response to last year's public ballot for Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens tickets, the initiative will be repeated for 2015, including the offering of individual daily passes for the three-day tournament in the public ballot.

The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) today announced that online registration for the public ballot draw will begin on Saturday 1 November 2014. Once again the 3,000 remaining event tickets for the public sale will be distributed on a daily basis, creating 9,000 opportunities for participants in the ballot to be successful.

Facing increasing operating costs in the past few seasons with the advent of a 28 team tournament – re‑confirming Hong Kong's status as the largest event on the HSBC Sevens World Series, the HKRFU has increased adult ticket prices to HK$1,800 for a full three-day tournament pass.

The expansion of the tournament to 28 teams creates a significant cost increase for the HKRFU that runs to several million dollars annually and is essential for keeping the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens at the pinnacle of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

As per previous years, children's ticket prices will remain at HK$150.Adult daily ticket prices in the public ballot will be set at HK$300 for Friday and HK$750 for Saturday and Sunday respectively.

An extensive registration period for the final public ballot draw will begin at 09.00am on Saturday 1 November 2014 and will close on Saturday 31 January 2015. Once registration is complete, a distinct and separate ballot will be held for each day of the tournament. That draw will be held on 4 February 2015.

Ballot applicants can apply to attend all three days of the event and may win across multiple entries for access to the event on multiple days. Each applicant for the public ballot can apply for a maximum of two tickets per day in any combination of one adult, two adults or one adult and one child ticket packages.

Following the steady growth in Hong Kong's Senior, Youth and Mini Rugby Clubs (all of which have been experiencing a sustained year-on-year growth of 10 percent for the past few seasons), the HKRFU expects that after the completion of the pre-sales period to local Rugby Clubs, stakeholders and the public ballot, 92 percent of event tickets will have been retailed in Hong Kong, with a further six percent reserved for overseas ticketing agents and two percent reserved for the participating teams.

Mr Vern Reid, Chief Executive Officer of the HKRFU said, "The HKRFU is pleased to confirm that the public sale for tickets to the 2015 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens will again be held via public ballot."

"With the decision to distribute the remaining tickets on a daily pass basis, creating over 9,000 opportunities to be successful in the ballot, last year's process was felt to offer the most convenient and equitable manner for the public and the ballot was well received by the local community," added Mr Reid.

Addressing the increase in ticket prices, Mr Reid commented that, "With 70 matches and nearly 40 hours of world-class rugby and entertainment on offer throughout the weekend, the Hong Kong Sevens is one of the best entertainment values in world sport."

Adding to the value of the tickets in 2015 is the confirmation by the HKRFU that international recording artists the Village People will be the official in-stadium entertainment in 2015. Following on the heels of the Beach Boys and Queen Extravaganza over the past two years, the famously costumed international recording artists with their global chart-toppers like "Y.M.C.A.","Macho Man" and "In the Navy", will be a perfect accompaniment to the fancy dress frolics at the Sevens in 2015.

"Hong Kong Rugby relies on the proceeds from the Sevens to fund the development of the game and, especially in recent years, to fund the development of more sports facilities in Hong Kong to sustain our growth," added Mr Reid.

In the past decade, the HKRFU has invested over HK$118 million into developing local sports grounds for use by Rugby and other sports leagues and associations in Hong Kong. The past 12 months alone have seen an investment of HK$35 million in the development of new facilities or maintenance of existing facilities across Hong Kong.The HKRFU and Renaissance University will jointly open the latest HKRFU-funded pitch, at a cost of HK$5 million in December.

"With the expanded number of hosted teams at the Sevens, our operating expenses continue to rise significantly. As the Sevens is the primary financial driver of all domestic rugby, including our 118 million dollar investment in developing pitches and sports training facilities in recent years, we have had to increase the ticket prices to safeguard the financial viability of Hong Kong Rugby," said Mr Reid.