nzherald.co.nz will have live coverage of the Wellington sevens, including video and photos, on Friday and Saturday.
Are you at the Sevens? Send us your photos, video
The annual two-day rugby sevens tournament held in Wellington with teams from 16 countries – the current champions are England. It is the city's largest sporting event and contributes more than $10 million to the economy as thousands of out-of-towners flock to the capital for the weekend.
The Wellington Sevens is one of eight IRB World Series tournaments held around the world. Other locations in the 2009-2010 series include Dubai, South Africa, Las Vegas, Adelaide, Hong Kong, London and Edinburgh. The series first began in 1999 and has become immensely popular. Tickets to the Wellington event have sold out for the last eight years.
WHEN AND WHERE
Westpac Stadium in Wellington from February 5-6.
It's not just about the rugby – the Sevens is an opportunity to play dress-up and let your imagination run wild. Every year the costumes get more inventive and more outrageous, but there are a few rules:
- No bare feet, no nudity, no fake weapons, no gang patches or high-visibility type clothing that may be confused with security staff uniforms.
- Your costume must also fit in one seat so as not to block the view for others. (see the Westpac Stadium dress code details here)
Costumes can be ordered from costume hire stores or made yourself – the more original the better. Remember that you'll be wearing it for two days, so choose something comfortable you can move in and that isn't stifling hot. Be mindful of renting extras like hats – if you lose them, you pay for them.
At Jesters Costume Hire, hippies, gladiators and police remain popular, while at the Costume Cave customers are opting for pirate, Indian and Mexican outfits. Meanwhile, Jenny Bain of Totally Frocked says some are asking for golfing gear and going as Tiger Woods with a group of ladies on their arm.
Other costume ideas: Outrageous Fortune, rock stars, pirates, superheroes, Alice in Wonderland, Wild West, Star Wars, actors/actresses, band members.
The official team parade takes place on February 4 at 12.45pm. Starting at Lambton Quay and culminating at Civic Square where mayor Kerry Prendergast will officially welcome the international teams, it's an opportunity to see your favourite players and ask for an autograph. With floats, banners and balloons taking over the streets, it's Wellington's version of the Rio Carnival.
On February 6, Courtenay Place will be closed off for a giant street party. As well as live music on two stages, those who missed out on tickets will be able to catch the Sevens action on the big screen.
Westpac Stadium is just a short walk from the CBD. There is a walkway from Wellington Railway Station that leads directly to the stadium entrance. Alternatively, the bus terminal is next to the railway station at the south end of Thorndon Quay. See Metlink for bus and train information.
For out-of-towners, the airport is roughly 10km away and there are airport shuttles and flyer buses operating.
The taxi drop-off and pick-up point is adjacent to the pedestrian ramp at ground level. A limited number of carparks are also available at the stadium for $30.