August 21 2014, updated 12:56pm

Borat banned from rugby sevens

Last updated 01:20 29/01/2008
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Dominion Post
BANNED: Borat is banned from this year's Wellington sevens rugby tournament. Police have declared they will not allow fans to wear the skimpy swimsuits, as Mark Hansen did in 2007.

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Rugby sevens fans are facing an unprecedented crackdown on alcohol and lewd conduct.

 


What do you think about the ban on skimpy costumes at this year's sevens? Click here or email editorial@stuff.co.nz to send us your feedback

 

Organisers of this weekend's sevens are for the first time putting a dress code in place - recognition that Wellington's biggest party is getting out of hand.

Fans will face a two-year ban from the stadium if they are caught trying to sneak alcohol in.

Nearly 70,000 fans will pour into Westpac Stadium on Friday and Saturday, with most in fancy dress.

Wellington Regional Stadium Trust chief executive David Gray said complaints last year related to spectators not being properly covered.

One was the legendary Borat, who went dressed in a lime green lycra V-string.

"There were a couple [of costumes] last year, that by the time 8pm rolled around, what little bits they had, had been lost in the heat of the day," Mr Gray said.

The stadium's dress code states:

Costumes must conform to reasonable standards of decency;

They should not be so large that you take up more than your seat space;

Accessories that look like, or can be used as weapons are not permitted.

Though the code was not prescriptive, "from the punter's point of view it should be pretty clear what's decent".

Former New Zealand sevens captain Eric Rush supported moves to impose reasonable standards. "I saw some of the bums they're talking about last year and I think it's a good idea."

Mr Rush, who with his wife is taking 10 children and teenagers to the event, was comfortable, however, that the atmosphere outside the raucous Red Zone would be acceptable for his children.

"The average person who attends Wellington Sevens, standards are a bit lower - myself included.

"I just hope the PC brigade don't take over. If you want PC, go to Kiri Te Kanawa at the vineyards."

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast said stadium management, council staff and police had been working through issues as the event's popularity grew.

These related mainly to dress standards, but water pistols had also become an issue as drunken fans fired them at unsuspecting spectators.

High visibility, or neon, vests were banned because they allowed fans to evade security staff, who wore the same garments.

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More than 200 security staff and five cameras with zoom capacity will be in place to spot fans misbehaving.

Anyone caught flashing to cameras, which broadcast on the live screens, will face eviction, while would-be streakers face tough measures to keep them off the field.

There were 25 arrests in the stadium last year, but drunken disorder and arrest rates were higher than usual afterwards as fans poured into bars.

The police operations commander for the event, Inspector Kevin Riordan, said officers were not "the fashion police" but would support security staff to enforce regulations.

- The Dominion Post

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