By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A major college rugby championship is making a habit of it here in the Delaware Valley, with a return to Chester, Pa. on the first weekend of June.
Last year, 19,000 fans turned out at PPL Park in Chester for the USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship (see previous story).
“This year, it’s the largest rugby event in the USA,” says Donal Walsh, senior vice president at USA Sevens Rugby. “Every university in the nation wants to come and compete in Philadelphia.”
Off the field, there’s a block party with food and concerts.
Walsh says the defending champs, Dartmouth, will be there, but so will some local favorites: “Delaware, Penn State, and Philly’s own Temple University.”
Officials at Philadelphia City Hall today announced that tickets are still available.
Mayor Nutter is excited about the potential economic impact of such a big weekend, since all those out-of-towners will need to stay and eat somewhere.
Rugby “sevens” features seven players on a side in a fast-paced, rugged game that Walsh says will soon be an Olympic sport.
“We want the Philadelphia region to be a key part in the preparation for the US team to secure a gold medal in Rio in 2016,” he says.