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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Top Sides Set For Halloween 7s

Press Release

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., This Halloween weekend, America’s fastest growing and newest Olympic sport is coming to the Sunshine City. American Rugby 7s and Bill Edwards Presents Inc. in association with St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission and Al Lang Stadium will host the inaugural Halloween Rugby 7s Elite Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015.  The international event is expected to thrill audiences with fast-paced, best-in-class competition, live entertainment, a renowned DJ and a Halloween-themed festival on stadium grounds.

The prestigious, two-day event along the waterfront in downtown St. Petersburg is officially sanctioned by USA Rugby, the National Governing Body for the sport of rugby in the United States, and supported by American Rugby 7s, a premier sports event production group. The new elite international tournament gives American fans a front-row seat to witness rugby seven’s global appeal ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in California’s Bay Area.

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Eight, hand-selected elite men’s rugby sevens teams will compete in a round-robin style format in the intimate, 7,500-seat Al Lang stadium, with the winner taking a rare $10,000 prize purse. The event will showcase several international All-Star teams including the Canada Maple Leafs and the USA Falcons—a team featuring USA Olympic hopefuls. Four elite USA All-Star sevens teams will also compete for the grand prize, including United States Military Selects, NYC 7s, Denver Men’s Selects, and Columbus 7s.

“We are so excited and honored that these elite teams have accepted our invitation to play in St. Petersburg this fall. We plan to showcase the high energy and wildly entertaining sport of rugby sevens surrounded by a festival of fun and live entertainment. There will be something for everyone” said Karyne Bazzano, Founder and CEO of American Rugby 7s. “Sevens is a true fan’s sport; fast, physical, and high-scoring. The festival’s live music, contests and costumes will add to the fun!”

The Halloween Rugby 7s Elite Invitational will be played from 1 p.m. to 6.p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1. As part of the build-up to weekend activities, the Rugby World Cup Final in England, broadcast live on NBC, will be shown.

Compliments of St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, American Rugby 7s is also partnering to provide the live streaming broadcast of the Halloween Rugby 7s Elite Invitational on USA Rugby TV through the Eversport.tv network.

“Eversport is excited to stream the America’s Rugby 7s’ inaugural tournament and support further the growing importance of Rugby in the USA and beyond” said Carl Kirchhoff, President of Eversport. “Rugby is a fast-paced team sport which has been performing very well on Eversport reaching fans via web, mobile and OTT.”

“It is mission critical for USA Rugby to support the accelerated growth of rugby sevens in America in any way possible,” said Nigel Melville, CEO of USA Rugby. “We are proud to sanction this elite-level tournament as not only a destination event for rugby fans across the United States, but also as a highly competitive training and scouting event for our Men’s National Sevens team. Our players need every opportunity possible to compete at an international level in preparation for the 2016 Olympics and beyond.”

The St. Petersburg/Clearwater area is known for its 35 miles of white sand beaches, many of which are located just minutes from downtown St. Pete and Al Lang Stadium.

Tickets for the Halloween Rugby 7s Elite Invitational can be purchased starting Monday, Sept. 14 at HalloweenRugby7s.com. Follow the event at facebook.com/halloweenrugby7s and on twitter @Halloween7s.

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