'Wowsers' have ruined the Wellington Sevens

An article a day or two ago revealed that a paltry 12,000 tickets had been sold at this stage to this years Sevens tournament in Wellington.

An event that used to be sold out in as little as half an hour is now struggling sell tickets.

The obvious question is why have the ticket sales slumped?

The wowsers have ruined things for the majority and the organisers have strangled the event so tight that it is struggling to breathe and may end up being killed off.

The New Zealand leg of the Sevens circuit became immensely popular over the years because the event was treated as a two day party with a bit of sevens rugby on the side.

The idea of going to the event dressed up in all sorts of costumes caught on quickly and ensured it was hugely popular.

Of course being a party-style event that meant that plenty of alcohol was consumed and the vast majority were able to drink a lot without causing trouble.

Because a small percentage of people couldn't handle the large intake of alcohol and caused trouble, the organisers have slowly strangled the event with tighter and tighter regulations as the years went by.

The atmosphere that the Wellington Sevens became famous for seems to have been ditched in favour of making it family friendly.

As a result the people who used dress up weird and wacky costumes are not bothering because they feel the wowsers have killed off the atmosphere that made the Wellington Sevens so popular.

I've never attended a sevens event but from memory a few years ago they had family zones at the stadium so my question is why can't both groups co-exist?

It seems the organisers have fallen into the familiar trap of pandering to the vocal minority and that move may have inadvertently killed off the Sevens.

I'm guessing most of the wowsers want to go to the event and sit there and watch the rugby without putting up with drunken antics from revellers. 

If the Wellington Sevens survives another year I think the organisers and the police should take a good, long look at why the event has gone from being sold out within an hour, to being unable to sell tickets.

Their regulations around drinking at the event are clearly too tight. While I don't think they should loosen them completely, they definitely need to relax the vice-like grip they have on the throat of this event.

There will always be people out there who can't handle too much alcohol, who will get boozed at the event but they are usually a very small minority. Why should the rest of the people drinking but not causing trouble be tarred with the same brush?

The drinking culture in this country is a sensitive subject and naturally there are people on both sides of the fence in this debate, but people can drink and have a good time without causing trouble. These people are now disinterested in attending the Sevens and a big reason why ticket sales have plummeted in recent years.

The wowsers have played their part in the attempt to turn the event into a family friendly occasion but now that enough of the traditional fans are not bothering to turn up it seems fairly obvious that we have a case here of a minority spoiling things for the majority.

The sevens event in this country has usually been extremely popular and I hope that it doesn't find itself being ousted from World Rugby's sevens tournament because the event became too regulated and turned people away from it.