Hamilton's debut in World Rugby's Rugby HSBC World Sevens Series kicks off on Friday evening with a launch and welcome event at Hamilton's Garden Place plus the chance to win the last tickets to the event.

FMG Stadium Waikato will host the New Zealand leg of the series for the first time this weekend.

Friday evening's launch event will be in Garden Place from 5pm to 7pm, and will feature music and entertainment, TV personalities, food trucks and a competition for free tickets to the Sevens.

"We wanted to mark the start of the Sevens weekend with a free launch event," said the council's general manager of major events and venues, Sean Murray.


"It's important to us to give the teams, officials and supporters a warm welcome to Hamilton. As a city we're really embracing this event and we're rapt Hamilton is the only place in New Zealand where rugby fans can cheer on the All Black Sevens team in person.

The HSBC New Zealand Sevens will be a cashless event, with patrons using special wristbands to buy items at the stadium.

The launch event will provide ticketed patrons with a chance to collect and load credit to their wristbands before they head to the stadium to catch the action.

Among the activities at the launch event is a dunk tank, with local celebrities – including three Hamilton councillors and The Breeze Waikato breakfast radio hosts Stu Smith and Camille Guzzwell – set to get wet when participants hit the target.

People can try their luck hitting the dunk tank target by making a gold coin donation which will be passed on to the Mental Health Foundation, the tournament's official charity.

Veteran radio host and tune-spinner DJ Sirvere will provide the soundtrack to the event, which will also feature appearances by international Sevens teams' captains. TV personality James McOnie will be MC.

Food trucks from Gourmet in the Gardens event will also be on-site for Friday's launch event.

The last seven double passes will also be on offer for lucky winners.

"We've got the last seven double passes for the event, and since it's a sell-out, this is the last chance to be part of the action and excitement."

To be in to win a double pass, entrants can register at hamiltonhostcity.co.nz, or in person at Friday's launch event. The winners of the double passes will be drawn at 7pm in Garden Place, and entrants must be present at the event to claim their tickets if their name is drawn.

■ As well as the usual alcohol ban area in the city, tournament goers won't be able to drink or have opened alcohol in the streets surrounding FMG stadium. You may carry unopened alcohol if you're going home or to a restaurant. Breaches of the temporary alcohol ban could result in $250 fines.