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Philadelphia, Pa. – The second-ever USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship, a Rugby Sevens World Cup-style tournament featuring 16 top-tier collegiate rugby teams, will be held at PPL Park in Chester, PA, on both Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5, 2011.
The tournament will be broadcast nationally on NBC live on both days.
Organizers and hosts officially launched the tournament Tuesday at a press conference at the stadium.
“We are excited that NBC Sports is bringing the Collegiate Rugby Championship to Chester in 2011,” said Chester Mayor Wendell N. Butler, Jr. “Not only does this mean more jobs for Chester residents, but it also allows for a whole new set of fans and viewers to experience PPL Park and Chester’s fine waterfront, our historic birthplace.”
“PPL Park continues to draw the attention and interest of a wide range of events and now in partnership with the USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship, we are bringing the great sport of rugby for fans to enjoy right here to the greater Philadelphia region,” said Nick Sakiewicz, CEO & Operating Partner of Keystone Sports and Entertainment.
Rugby Sevens will be an Olympic sport starting in 2016 and the USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship offers fans a preview of the talent pool available for the U.S. Olympic team.
“International sports fans have always supported rugby with an ardent fervor and we hope the fans of Philadelphia will similarly embrace it,” said Jon Miller, Executive Vice President of NBC Sports. “We have high hopes that the Collegiate Rugby Championship and the sport itself will become part of the fabric of the city and the region.”
The USA 7s Collegiate Rugby Championship features 16 Division I collegiate traditional powers, including; Temple, Penn State, Notre Dame, Army, Navy, Cal and defending champs Utah.
“It is truly invigorating to see that Rugby 7s is establishing a presence on the National stage in America,” said Donal Walsh, VP of Operations for USA 7s Rugby. “We had such success with the first event in Columbus, it’s a true privilege to bring this competition to Philadelphia for its second year.”
Comcast-Spectacor, the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company, is a partner in the Tournament and will be supplying the marketing, sales, promotional, and publicity support. The company also manages PPL Park through its public assembly facility management subsidiary, Global Spectrum.
“We’re thrilled to help Rugby Sevens with this outstanding event,” said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. “We are providing our full support to make this event a success and to keep it here at PPL Park for years to come.”
A new addition to the tournament this year will include first-ever Philadelphia style rugby block party.
“Rugby Sevens is quickly gaining the respect and appreciation it deserves among sports fans in the United States,” said Penn State head coach Don Ferrell. “The continuation of this tournament exemplifies the growing talent that exists in the sport leading into rugby’s debut at the 2016 Olympic Games.”
• NBC Sports live coverage from 4:00-6:00 p.m. ET on June 4 and 5
• Universal Sports live coverage from 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET on June 4 and 5
• NBC Mobile live simulcast from 4:00-6:00 p.m. ET on June 4 and 5
• Hulu.com full event coverage available on-demand in HD quality video
About USA Sevens:
USA Sevens owns and operates America’s premier rugby event, the USA Sevens Rugby Tournament. Held annually, the event is one of the eight international stops in the HSBC Sevens World Series. With an attendance of over 50,000 during the two day event, it is the largest annual rugby event in North America and one of the fastest growing rugby events in the world.
USA Sevens is also owned by the same company that owns RUGBY Magazine.