Los Angeles is USA’s Sevens World Series host
New format will determine slots for ‘24 Paris Olympics
By Fran Thompson
Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles (Feb. 25-26) will be among host venues in the new HSBC World Rugby Sevens format featuring 11 record men’s rounds and a record seven women’s events in anticipation of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Olympic qualification at stake for the top four teams in the 2023 Series.
The series kicked off with last month’s Hong Kong Sevens claimed by the Australian men after five consecutive trips to the victory stage from Fiji. Uruguay made its series’ debut at that tourney. The women’s series kick-off in Dubai Dec. 2-3 with Australia taking the top trophy along with the South African men.
The new format hopes to expose the dynamic, highly entertaining Olympic sport to a younger fan base, as it continues to grow and evolve and engage new fans around the globe. The tourney stops were chosen for their ability to generate funds to pay player salaries, and the tourneys will attempt to attract younger fans with three day festival style events surrounding the stadium. The fully combined and men’s and women’s Series will include 12 men’s (reduced from 16) and a like number of women’s teams to align with the Olympic competition model. Other stops include Singapore, Toulouse, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Vancouver and Hamilton, Ontario. The Series final event will crown the champions and offer a pathway for four men’s and women’s teams to earn promotion from the Challenger Series.
The USA men are currently ranked no. 4 and the women no. 3 in the World Sevens rankings.
Dignity Health Sports Park will host rugby at the 2028 Summer Olympic Games when rugby sevens will be one of the featured sports in the Summer Olympic Games. The event will feature an International Fan Festival that will include music, food, culture and entertainment from around the world in and around Dignity Health Sports Park during the event weekend. It will be the largest annual rugby event in the United States, with an expected 45,000 fans in attendance.
Team GB (England, Scotland, & Wales), Ireland, France, Spain, Canada, Argentina, Kenya, Japan, Australia, Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand, South Africa, Uruguay and Chile will join The USA Eagles in LA.
The Los Angeles Invitational, which will take place on the outer fields around the stadium, will include 300 community teams playing in co-ed divisions from youth to old boys.
The event will also welcome celebrities from the world of television, film and music, along with top athletes from a variety of sports who are also rugby fans and supporters of their national teams.
“Every fan who left Dignity Health Sports Park after year 2 in 2022 said they couldn’t wait to be back,” said Dan Lyle, Director of AEG Rugby.