Wellington Sevens 'probably run its course' - RWC organiser

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It was once the highlight of the Wellington sport and social calendar, but the Wellington Sevens tournament is struggling in its 18th year to fill the stands of the Cake Tin.

Now in its 18th year, some are questioning whether the tournament is coming to the end of its life.
Source: 1 NEWS

Organisers are urging fans to buy tickets to the event despite saying they are happy with current sales.

But some critics, such as sport administrator Martin Sneddon, says the event has run its course.

"History will judge the Wellington Sevens as being an amazing success story," the Rugby World Cup 2011 organiser said.

"But what's really apparent now is that it's probably run its course."

Organisers wouldn't reveal to 1 NEWS exactly how many tickets had been sold this year, but said they are tracking the same numbers as last year – approximately 15,000 fans which is less than half of Westpac Stadium.

Sevens general manager Steve Dunbar says organisers are working hard to bring the tournament back to its former glory.

"We've never shied away from the fact it's difficult to sell tickets in today's environment," he said.

"It's not uncommon for international sporting events like this to have peaks and troughs like this in its life cycle."

The tournament also faces competition from the NRL Auckland Nines which has seen it attempt to revitalise the tournament with new food and beverage options to bring fans back.

Wellington has an agreement with World Rugby to keep the tournament in the city for the next two years.

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