The Runner Sports

2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens Ticket Go On Sale July 20

For the first time ever, the United States will host a Rugby World Cup event when the sevens circuit touches down in San Francisco, CA for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens. From July 20-22, 2018, the international sensation that has become rugby sevens will take over the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park for a three-day affair featuring 24 men’s teams and 16 women’s sides.

Tickets will go on sale starting Thursday at 10 am PT, a year to the day ahead of the event, and a three-day pass will start at $125. Five different seating tiers have already been established, and considering the nuances that will come with some views –AT&T Park is traditionally a baseball field– an essence of time cannot be stressed in nabbing those premium angled seats. So don’t delay!

You might have heard the rumblings –or you might just get caught off guard– but rugby is on the rise in the United States, and represents the fastest growing sport in the country currently. Media conglomerates are already lining up for what could be the next big thing. ESPN, NBC, and even CBS (Fox Sports covers it internationally) have thrown money at the sport (albeit in varying displays and degree). The USA’s Las Vegas stop on the Rugby Sevens World Series has even become one of the sport’s top billed destinations, and continues to grow. First played in 2004, the Las Vegas stop has grown from a modest 15,000 spectators to a new high 80,600 in 2017, with a single-day high of 35,901 (Sam Boyd Stadium‘s capacity peaks at 40,000). With the inclusion of rugby sevens in the 2016 Summer Olympics, unadulterated fans continue to get exposed and enamored by the high-paced, action-packed, and brutal yet beautiful game.

While rugby continues to climb the rungs, the hosting of a Rugby World Cup event is no doubt a prove it moment for USA Rugby. While Las Vegas has grown to be a a well-received event, this summer’s attempts at international action left some room for improvements. A June 10 matchup with Ireland at Red Bull Stadium in Harrison, NJ, failed to sell out, with just a reported 22,000 in attendance. There were plenty of empty seats, though, and a question of venue decision no doubt has to come into consideration in its ultimate shortfallings. Having commuted from Manhattan to the game personally, it was far from a smooth experience and no doubt could have benefitted from not being in New Jersey; most fans seemed to come in from NYC anyway. USA Rugby also played a matchup with Georgia on June 17 at Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, GA. A capacity of just 8,318 seats, the stadium looked far from anywhere near it.

There won’t be the excuses for the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens. AT&T Park is a prime located stadium (although you’ll draw some ire about it being a baseball stadium, World Rugby clearly didn’t care enough to deny the bid) right in the downtown hub of San Francisco, a very internationally appealing city. They’ll have no less than 24 countries to gobble up the near 42,000 seats available. The USA has also shown it can put on a high-profile game. The Rugby Weekend, pitting Ireland and New Zeland in Chicago’s Soldier Field featured a US record-breaking 62,000 in attendance in November 2016. Still, USA Rugby and those that put in the efforts to win this bid would no doubt like to see this as sold out as possible. Anything less might be a letdown for the efforts of this budding rugby nation. It would also severely hurt the United States and Canada’s potential joint bid for the 2027 Rugby World Cup. So do your part and get to the games.

It’s not as though the home side will lack quality either. USA Rugby (men’s) finished 5th in the 2016-17 Sevens World Series. On home soil, they’ll look to improve on their 2013 World Cup, where they lost in the first game of Plate action. The women –who finished 6th in the 2016-17 sevens circuit– will be back to get even further than their Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand. Both squads are loaded with exciting players who won’t look to go quietly on home turf.

If you can’t make it out to the Bay Area, at least be sure to tune into the coverage. NBC, who has given the spotlight to sevens for some years now, secured exclusive broadcasting rights for the full roundup of Rugby World Cup coverage (men’s, women’s, sevens, and even U20s Championships) from this year’s women’s World Cup through 2023. It’s a worthwhile investment rugby fans need to be sure is met with enthusiasm and tuned into.

Tyler Arnold

Tyler Arnold

I am the editor-in-chief of The Runner Sports. I watch more sports than is probably determined healthy and enjoy talking about them all. I am a firm believer in there being a "dropped peanut surcharge" at the ballpark when it's a good throw. Thanks for the read.
Tyler Arnold