The New Zealand leg of the Sevens World Series will move from Wellington to Hamilton starting from next year, New Zealand Rugby has announced.
Doubts over the viability of Wellington hosting the event have long lingered with crowd numbers on the significant decline for a number of years.
Special activities and a high advertisement drive were put in place for the 2017 event. However, with just 10,000 people reportedly going through the games on both days respectively, the sea of empty yellow seats were visible on the broadcast, sealing the fate of the tournament in the windy city.
Former All Black Liam Messam believes Hamilton is the perfect place to rebuold the event.
"It's exciting for the city, it’s a wonderful event and hopefully Hamilton can turn it on," said the Chiefs loose-forward.
"Hamilton is a perfect place for it. It's an awesome stadium, nice and close for the fans – hopefully there will be a party atmosphere and we can get the Sevens back to that party atmosphere."
However don't expect to see the former Sevens star is unlikely to be a starter come February.
"I'm too old for that now – but hopefully I can get the weekend off and watch the boys."
Dunedin was rumoured to have been in the running for the event while Auckland was also mooted as a possible host.
However, the NRL Auckland Nines is still likely to be held at Eden Park next year on the weekend prior, making the possibility of holding the Sevens the next weekend very slim.
The event will be held at Hamilton's FMG Stadium Waikato on February 3 and 4 in 2018.