Planning major spectator events tricky, even for Rugby Canada

Reputation as a walk-up town can leave organizers a little nervous

For organizers of major sporting events, the Greater Victoria ticket-buying market can be a frustrating one, what with area spectators’ reputation for leaving game attendance decisions until the last day or two.

That said, organizers of the upcoming Americas Rugby Championship mens 15s matches at Westhills Stadium in Langford are heartened by the fact the Island and B.C. Premier leagues are back in action and there’s a buzz in the air about international rugby.

“We’ve seen it pick up over the past few weeks and clubs are starting to play rugby again,” Bryan Kelly, communications and media relations manager for Rugby Canada in Langford, said of ticket sales for the Feb. 4 and 11 matches at Westhills.

While historically, general sports fans have attended the various national team games to be a part of the spectacle of international rugby, getting the multitude of local rugby clubs involved and passing the word around makes a big difference, Kelly said.

“It’s a growing community, definitely very passionate, and I think people are going to come and support it big time,” he said.

The re-establishment as Westshore Rugby Club of the former Velox organization has boosted the growth in the sport at all levels in this area, Kelly added.

The Canadian mens 15s ARC matches against Argentina on Feb. 4 and Feb. 11 versus Chile, both set to kick off at 5 p.m., are the first big events of the year for Rugby Canada.

The USports national university sevens championships are set for March 17 and 18, with the University of Victoria expected to be a contender in men’s and women’s play. The third annual Canada Womens Sevens brings the top teams from the Rio Olympics to Westshills Stadium for World Womens Sevens Series matches on May 27 and 28. Visit for ticket details about the national team events.


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