Waikato University dorm rooms open for Sevens crowd
Fancy reliving your carefree university years?
You can - for $150 a night, including a cooked buffet breakfast.
The University of Waikato is offering student hall rooms for rent over the weekend of the Rugby Sevens.
And with most Hamilton motels near capacity during February 4-5, it may be one of the last options left.
There are 181 single-occupancy rooms at Bryant Hall and 204 at Student Village.
All bookings come with free on-site parking, use of the university pool and a cooked breakfast.
Assistant Vice-Chancellor Michelle Jordan-Tong said the timing of the event works well with the start of summer school.
Jordan-Tong believed it would be a great way to contribute to the Sevens tournament.
"We'll have enough accommodation in the other halls for summer school students, so it's a good idea," Jordan-Tong said.
"It's a big event for the city and with things like Fieldays, we can never help out with accommodation.
"It's a great spot. The bus service outside Bryant Hall goes straight into the city."
Waikato Motel Association vice-president and owner of the Arena Court Motor Lodge in Hamilton, Lloyd Stone, said the city's moteliers are nearly booked out.
"When the tickets went on sale a few months back, ticket holders started booking up accommodation," Stone said.
"I expect there won't be many spots to book closer to the date."
Lloyd said motel owners are busy prepping for the event and don't want a repeat of Wellington moteliers' problems.
His own motel will be hiring security over the weekend of the Sevens, "so we don't have our motel trashed", Stone said.
"Several other motels are doing it, too."
Stone said it was the first he'd heard about the university offering accommodation.
He questioned whether it would compete with motels, but said the more options available for ticket holders, the better.
New Zealand Sevens general manager Steve Dunbar said there are only a handful of tickets left for the tournament itself.
"This is a clear sign of the wider economic benefits the Sevens is bringing to Hamilton," Dunbar said.
"There is a buzz around the tournament and people are travelling far and wide for it. Hamilton is set to benefit from fans' spend on accommodation, food, entertainment, transport and more.
"Ticket sales have exceeded expectation."