Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

Normal service resumes as fans flock to Hong Kong Sevens and city’s nightspots

Normal service resumes as fans flock to Hong Kong Sevens and city’s nightspots

New Zealand’s men and women win respective Cup finals at Hong Kong Stadium, while Chief Executive John Lee feels ‘the vibe’ as atmosphere returns to landmark sporting occasion.

The Hong Kong Sevens ended in a cacophony of noise, fireworks and flame on Sunday, with New Zealand’s men and women underlining their dominance of the sport on the field.

The victories in their respective finals, with the women overcoming Australia and the men beating Fiji to claim their first title in Hong Kong since 2014, were no less impressive for being entirely expected the longer the tournament went on.

Off the pitch, the 75,000 fans who passed through the gates over the course of the three days signalled a return to normal in Hong Kong, and business leaders said they had noticed the financial impact of the event, which in the past has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the city’s economy.

There was local success too, with the Hong Kong’s men team claiming some silverware for the first time since 2010 after beating Kenya and Canada on a pulsating final day that started with rain and a smattering of fans.

That the stadium was largely empty for long periods of the event was not just related to the weather – keeping people’s attention for 12 hours a day is difficult on any occasion.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee (centre) presents the winner’s trophy to the New Zealand men’s team.


Still, Chris Brooke, the Hong Kong Rugby Union chairman, said that even at less than full capacity he felt the atmosphere had reached pre-Covid levels.

“I think from our perspective it’s been a very successful weekend,” Brooke said. “We’ve done better than our target ticket sales. All the corporate boxes were full and you could just feel a really great vibe in the stadium.”

The presence of the city’s leader, John Lee Ka-chiu, for the second Sevens in five months, also said much for its continued importance, as did the attendance of Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung Yun-hung and Hong Kong Jockey Club officials.

Lee’s enthusiasm for the Sevens is unlikely to have been hurt by the double dose of the haka the winners performed in front of officials after being presented with their trophies.

The chief executive said he had gone to watch the final to “feel the vibe of the game with the fans and the audience”.

Fans party in the South Stand as DJ Soda, seen in the screen behind them, performs a set on the third day of the Hong Kong Sevens.


“Similar international events will come one after another, injecting vitality into Hong Kong,” Lee wrote on social media afterwards. “In addition to creating a ‘happy Hong Kong’ for local citizens, it will also attract tourists from different places to come to Hong Kong to feel the warm atmosphere.”

And while most of the support this year came from local residents, overseas visitors returned from Japan, Paris, London, Fiji and everywhere in between.

“Seven years ago, I came to Hong Kong to play as a youth representative of Japan in a tournament,” said Mana Furuta, a 25-year-old administrative officer. “The vibe here is amazing – especially because people are taking off their masks and enjoying the games and fresh air at the same time.”

The return to normal was felt in the city’s nightspots too, and Allan Zeman, the chairman of the Lan Kwai Fong Group, estimated that since the Sevens began last Friday business had been up about 25 per cent.

New Zealand’s Leroy Carter (right) fends off Fiji’s Waisea Nacuqu in the men’s Cup final.


Zeman said the boost to takings in the pubs and clubs showed that Hong Kong was “back in a strong way, which is really something that we’ve waited for a long time”.

“All these people that are coming from overseas, they see the Sevens, Art Basel and Clockenflap, all these things have just been a game changer,” he said. “They’ve been great for Hong Kong.”

According to Zeman, who watched the Sevens from the Hong Kong Rugby Union’s box, people who left during the height of the pandemic were thinking about returning to the city.

It will be another year before the Sevens does so, and then it will be at Hong Kong Stadium for the last time. There will be plenty of fireworks then too, and no doubt two New Zealand teams once again looking to dominate proceedings.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×