(SOURCE) So apparently there may or may not have been some secret meetings about an upcoming professional Rugby Sevens league. Not much information has been announced up until the Friday announcement. Now as much as I would like to believe that this is actually happening, I am still waiting for confirmation from other sources other than the potential producer of the league, Grand Prix Entertainment. If this is true, and Rugby Sevens League has somehow been sanctioned by USA Rugby, then we might be crossing into a whole new era of rugby that the USA has yet to have experienced.
Grand Prix Entertainments website seems to be focusing on placing the Rugby Sevens League teams in cities that have major media markets. Which would seem to make the most sense to be able to acquire major TV deals. On the flip side, not every one of these places seem ideal for heavy sports markets. For example, one of the cities that were mentioned was Miami. And area that has a very popular and idealized location, but has not been very friendly to the professional sports markets. Teams in Miami have been well documented for having struggling attendance records for teams such as the Miami Heat, the Miami Marlins and the Miami Dolphins. Another area in questionable area would be Detroit. Considering it’s current financial state, it might make it difficult for a new sports team to rise. Yes we know that the blue collar sensibility that has been made of the Detroit area would still be there, but when you want to grow something, especially as new as a professional rugby league, you would want to have the support of the city in your favor so that they would have a chance to survive the area.
The concept of this league seems very interesting, but very short sighted. Even with the concept of a rotation of 24 teams, the set up for a professional sevens league seems questionable. Even with the HSBC World Series, at least the 9 locations used to host the tournaments are spread out over a course of 7 months, with each tournament lasting two days. For a viable league here in the states, where people are use to teams playing on a weekly basis, it doesn’t seem completely realistic have 8 -13 fifteen minute games every week in a different city, with the same teams in rotation.
I believe the concept of the Rugby Sevens league could open whole new interests. But in the end I think there are flaws, first with the realism, and lastly with the concept. I hope something occurs with this. But I’m going to need USA Rugby to actually prove that they are a component of this.