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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Eagles To Face Japan In Hawaii, Canada In Sacramento

Through multiple sources TIAR has learned that the Eagles summer matches against Japan and Canada will take place in Hawaii and Sacramento respectively. The U.S. will begin their summer campaign by taking on Scotland at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on June 7th. They will then fly to Hawaii to play Japan, presumably on June 14th at Aloha Stadium, before finishing off with Canada in Sacramento, presumably on June 21st at Hornet Stadium. Canada play Japan on June 7th at Swangard Stadium in British Columbia before playing Scotland in Toronto on June 14th in Toronto.

Take the jump to read more.
Fans in Hawaii and Sacramento have to be pleased with the decision. It was earlier thought that the Canada match would take place in the Northeast but a desire to have a match in Hawaii meant that the fixture had to be moved out West. Hawaii has been a hotbed of rugby talent and will finally be rewarded with a fixture. The large Japanese population on Oahu should also help in terms of getting a good crowd out to the match. Sacramento is also a hot bed of rugby and with such close proximity to the Bay Area will also draw a good crowd. If the U.S. can have crowds over 10,000 for both matches they are looking at a total attendance of roughly 30,000 for the summer. That will be a nice payday for a team that has drawn good crowds of late.

The selection of Hawaii will be a treat for some fans but won't come without pitfalls. Hawaii isn't exactly accessible to most fans. Presuming the heat of June means that match takes place in the evening Hawaii time so most people on the East Coast will be long asleep. Lastly, the pitch at Aloha Stadium isn't exactly spacious and a good fit for rugby. Improvements have been made over the last few years but it is far from a perfect situation. Still, there are a lot of things to like about the match. Exposure into Hawaii is only a good thing, especially in recruiting talent. Plus, it gives a lot of people the excuse to have a nice vacation.

What do you think of the decisions? Would you have gone with somewhere else?


  1. Is it confirmed for Hornet or is that the guess because it's in Sac? The new pro soccer team in Sac is playing at Hughes until their stadium is built so I'm thinking it could be there, too.

  2. Wish game was in bay area ! But! Happy its close enough to drive to. I think sac. Can get 15kish with a hood chunk coming from bay area

  3. both have a track around field, I think the only problem is that hughes is turf and football lines and hornets is natural grass. both sit around 20k(+). Sacramento has a chance to have 20k easily with SF bay area well with in a few hour drive for fans to travel.

  4. Ugh. The Eagles need to start playing in the same places where they know they can draw good crowds and are attractive places for the opponents and fans. What Tier I nations are going to be excited to play at Kennesaw State? Sacramento? What non-local fans are excited by those locations? Learn from what works and do it again. The fact that Houston is hosting again is good. The Maori match in Philly was a great event. Any momentum from that was lost by "hosting" Russia in London. I know Northern California is a great place for rugby. That doesn't mean it is a great place for the Eagles to play. I know Hawaii makes sense for playing Japan in some ways. What seems more important, though, is that US Rugby start working toward consistent performances--by staff and the Eagles themselves. There seems advantage to be gained by establishing relationships with officials and the media in a few key places rather than starting from 0 every match. Glendale hasn't really worked out, so let's look to what is working.

    1. Ugh this post.

      We didn't host Russia in London. It was a neutral site match rather than a pure away match because Russia's union is terrible and could not find stadiums to host us with a heated field in winter.

      Sacramento is an excellent place to host a match. It's a metro area of over 2 million with a very good local rugby scene and very few competing sports. The Bay Area is close by to help boost those numbers too. Northern California also hasn't hosted a test match since 2009, which is fairly ridiculous. I don't see any reason why Northern California wouldn't be a great place for the Eagles to play.

      I don't think that Glendale hasn't worked out either. Glendale has been a safe option for USA Rugby when they are unsure what the crowd will be like and want to make sure they make money from the test. My hope is that we've outgrown Glendale and won't use it going forward.

      You are right about Houston, though. They should get a test every year.

  5. our next question should be 1) will these games be shown on TV and 2) if so who will broadcast them?

    Huston matches have been shown on universal (my opinion is crappy) with tape delay on nbc sports sometimes and at weird hours and days of the week.

    Fox Sports did a fantastic job with the Maori game even though it to wasn't Live on Fox sports 1 a majority of usa rugby fans already subscribe to Fox Soccer Plus so for those of us who have FSP didn't have to pay extra money just to watch 1 match and rebroadcast on national channel I am sure helped.

    over all NBC = Crappy production
    Fox Sports = Much better

  6. War Memorial Stadium on Maui is a possibility too I guess, before the US started to stage matches with big crowds and get more ambitious recently, it was mentioned as a possible venue. I would like to see Aloha Stadium personally, pending that the turf there is up to standard for test rugby. But playing Japan in Hawaii is a good move regardless. No idea why they didn't use it as a venue for the old Pacific Rim Cup.

  7. Aloha is a good choice but with it sitting @ 50k and we just dont know how the crowd will show up i think its best to play @ war memorial. if 10k show up and its aloha stadium not much to gain but vastly empty seats all around vs war mermorial is 20k so 10k there would look and feel better

  8. It's true that 50k is probably too big. But people are used to seeing it at Aloha. From UH football games to the Hawaii Bowl to even occasionally the Pro Bowl, the place usually looks all but empty.

  9. Actually I just learned that the biggest U20 7s tournament in the world is set for Aloha Stadium June 5-7, so USA-Japan 15s will certainly be there. Two exciting milestones for Hawaiian rugby - Manoa absolutely needs to be in the squad and on local TV around that time to promote things.

    Link for Aloha Sevens graphic: https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/t31/1271794_212379052292382_1257069332_o.jpg