Hamilton looks set to be permanent Sevens host

The Hamilton Sevens got underway on Saturday and organisers were given their strongest indication yet they'll become the new long-term host of the event.

It came from the boss of World Rugby, who told Newshub he's impressed by the rejuvenated event.

"It's a great atmosphere - everyone's having a great time," a man dressed in wings said.

The tournament was awarded to Hamilton on a two-year contract after a slump in ticket sales at the Wellington event.

"We needed to broaden out the experience for the fan, so we've created mill street park; there's circus rides, there's bars, food trucks - that's a whole thing happening," says organiser Dallas Ficsher.

It's the first cashless event involving New Zealand Rugby, which has seen previous tournaments overshadowed by drunken carnage.

Punters are now required to wear bracelets loaded with money, and if they become too intoxicated they're cut off.

"It's about the data you get from the wristbands; it's about managing the level people are drinking at, so all of those things come together to make this an outstanding system," says Mr Ficsher.

Hamilton hasn't got it in the bag just yet. But the boss of World Rugby has given a strong indication he's impressed with what he has seen.

"I think they've got a very strong chance given what they've put on here and what we've seen. They'll have a very strong bid I'm sure," says Brett Gosper of World Rugby.

The real test of the tournaments success will be overnight as fans hit the town and organisers assess their behaviour.


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