Blaine, MInn. (April 12, 2017) – The National Sports Center (NSC) in Blaine has been selected to host the USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championships August 12-13, 2017.
For 2017, the National Sports Center will welcome a total of 32 teams competing in one of the newest Olympic sports. Rugby Sevens made its Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games, and 11 of the 24 members of Team USA previously honed their crafts at Club 7s National Championships.
In 2013, the NSC hosted a two match test series between the USA and Canada U20 National Teams.
“USA Rugby is beyond thrilled to host Club 7s in a professional venue such as the National Sports Center,” USA Rugby National Championships Manager James Wilber said. “We believe the venue and our local hosts are going to deliver a memorable Club 7s National Championship.”
“The event will play a role in our plans to grow rugby even further here,” noted Minnesota Youth Rugby Executive Director Sean Lindersmith. “Minnesota is a great state with a proud sporting history. We are honored to continue that by hosting the Club 7s National Championships.”
The National Sports has a history of hosting major USA Rugby events. The Women’s National Championship was held annually at the NSC for a three-year span, 2003-2005. In 2004 the NSC Stadium was the stage for a USA-Canada international test match. And in 2013, USA and Canada’s U20 National Teams played a two-match test series at the NSC.
Additionally, in 2010 the NSC hosted the Bingham Cup, the biennial world championships for the gay and inclusive rugby community. And the NSC has previously been home to rugby for the Minnesota State High School Championships.
“While the National Sports Center has a proud history of hosting major rugby events, this is our first time hosting a rugby sevens tournament,” said Darin Thompson, the NSC’s Senior Director of Sport Services. “Coming off the sport’s debut at the Rio Olympic Games last year, we’re expecting a lot of fan interest.”
This will be the fifth time the Club 7s National Championships will be just the fifth held in the Midwest since the event began in 1985. Milwaukee hosted the event from 1986 to 1988, and Des Moines was the host in 2015.
Tickets for this year's Club 7s are priced at $23 for a weekend pass, or $15 per day, and will be available soon. For those unable to attend in person, the event will also be broadcast live on The Rugby Channel.
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