Tighter drinking controls for Sevens

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 17:44 15/12/2012
Wellington Sevens
KENT BLECHYNDEN/ Fairfax NZ

A man is escorted from the Wellington Sevens by police.

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Organisers of the Wellington Sevens rugby tournament are introducing special wrtistbands to be worn by drinking patrons.

The tournament drew criticism this year over the intoxication levels of some fans.

As a result, a range of tighter controls on fan behaviour are being introduced for next February’s tournament.

As well as increasing security checks on arrival, the organisers are introducing wristbands for ticket holders attending who are 18 and over. Fans can only drink at the stadium if they have one.

Wristbands will be supplied as fans enter the stadium.

For those under 25, appropriate identification must be supplied. This will be combined with the bag searches and increased assessment for intoxication.

Once inside, wristbands will be removed if patrons are displaying drunken behaviour or if they are an obvious nuisance.

Patrons will be evicted from the stadium if they’re caught drinking without a wristband or they’re continuing to cause concern.

“We want people to have a good time, enjoy the great event, but be responsible. The wristbands will remind fans that they need to look after themselves and others at the event,” said Hertz Sevens General Manager, Steve Walters.

“We are focused on making the entire experience even more enjoyable for everyone with non-stop world-class Sevens rugby and great entertainment so fans should plan and pace themselves to enjoy the whole weekend.”

Previous initiatives will continue to control excessive drinking, such as free drinking water, anti-smuggling controls, turning away intoxicated fans attempting to enter the stadium and no passes outside the gates after 6pm.

There will also be increased monitoring and police presence throughout the waterfront and the city during the weekend.

The tournament is part of the International Rugby Board’s World Series. It will be held at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, on February 1-2.

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