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NDP is a very large, successful lacrosse tournament organization and a branch of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), which runs the Dick’s Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions, its flagship tournament, along with the Midwest Cup, Atlantic Cup and Colorado Cup, all also title-sponsored by Dick’s.
While the first Sevens Championship, Dec. 29-31 this year, will employ an application process, the plan is to grow in the second year a network of qualification tournaments across the country, both by creating new tournaments and partnering with existing ones.
The partnership with KSE is notable, as its one of the biggest names in sports, counting the MLS’s Colorado Rapids, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and the NBA’s Denver Nuggets as properties. The namesake of the company, Stan Kroenke, is also the owner of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams and the largest stakeholder in the English Premier League’s Arsenal. KSE’s involvement in a rugby venture is further proof the sport is finally catching the eye of the biggest fish in American athletics.
The Sevens Championship will run annually at the end of the year, adding another destination spot on the youth 7s calendar. Currently, the most robust brackets for youth 7s are at the Las Vegas Invitational in February, which coincides with the IRB 7s World Series, and the High School Rugby Challenge in June, which is run in conjunction with the Collegiate Rugby Championship.
Add the Serevi Cup, which had its inaugural tournament in August and has aspirations of becoming a destination tournament, perhaps NY 7s in November and the North American Invitational 7s in Salt Lake City in October, and it appears the void of top-notch high school 7s is being filled.