If you haven’t heard of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, well, it’s about time you change that. Afterall, it’s undoubtedly the highlight of the Rugby Sevens tournament calendar.

Whether it’s due to the location, the crowd, the venue or all of the above, the HK Sevens have become legendary over the years and this year will be no exception. In fact, the 2024 tournament will be celebrating its 30th year as well as saying goodbye to the iconic HK Stadium (before moving to a new venue next year), so expectations are running higher than usual. To make the most of your experience, here’s everything you need to know about the huge weekend.

The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens: What you need to know

Try not to miss the sporting event of the year. | Photo by iStock.com/peepo

This year, the tournament will take place over 3 days from April 5 to 7 and will see 15 mens and womens teams battle it out on the pitch over the course of the weekend.

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If you’re unfamiliar with the game format, the rules are fairly simple. As the name suggests, there are only seven players to cover the same size pitch as traditional rugby games (15 players), so the game is much more fast paced. Matches only last for 14 minutes and the whole tournament moves quickly (or slowly, depending on how many beers you’ve had).

Which part of Hong Kong Stadium is best?

If you want your day to be more about the party rather than the rugby, then definitely check out the South Stand. This is the only 18+ section where all the action happens. However, it’s also the drunkest section of the stadium and where even the most debaucherous behavior quickly seems normal. There’s also no roof for this section, so you’re at the mercy of unpredictable weather.

Heads up though: The South Stand has limited capacity. It fills up extremely quickly and operates on a 1-in-1-out policy once full, especially on Saturday. The stadium gates open at 7 a.m. on Saturday (7:30 a.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. on Sunday) but people will start lining up well before that. Aim to get there for 6:30 a.m. or even 6 a.m. if you don’t want to queue (potentially for hours).

The East and West stands may not be as wild but they do offer partial coverage from the elements as well as cleaner toilets, smaller queues for food and drink, and an opportunity to actually watch some rugby. The East and West are split into lower and upper sections but you’re only allowed to bring drinks to your seats in the lower section.

The North stand has the smallest capacity. It used to get a bad rep for being too quiet but these days, you get a good mix of both party and rugby watching types.

How to buy tickets to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens

Buy your tickets online via Klook

We’ll be honest, the Sevens weekend isn’t a cheap one but we like to think it’s worth it. A 3-day ticket costs HK$1,950.00 for adults and HK$950.00 for children between 2 to 12 years old (under 2s go free). You can still buy tickets online via Klook at the time of writing but you should move quickly as they won’t stick around for long.

For those who want to enjoy the rugby in style, special Captain’s Corner passes are available whereby for HK$15,000.00. You get prime views of the pitch as well as free flow drinks and food.

If you’re coming from overseas and haven’t booked your flights yet, Cathay Pacific are offering special packages combining airfare and rugby tickets.

What to wear to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens

fans at rugby sevens
Time to dress up. | Photo by Hong Kong Tourism Board

If you’re not a fan of dressing up, then this may not be the event for you. Almost every Sevens goer will make some sort of costume effort, even if it’s just an amusing hat or oversized sunglasses. Then there are the people that go all out — minions, inflatable sumo wrestlers, Lego people, Pokémon, inappropriate political figures, you name it. There aren’t many fancy dress stones that have been left unturned so it’s the perfect time to be a little outrageous.

Those who haven’t had time to get a costume organized should head to Pottinger Street in Central. This vertical market is overflowing with ridiculous costumes, masks, wigs, and accessories for the weeks leading up to the Sevens weekend. Whatever you choose, make sure to wear sensible shoes that you don’t mind ruining as chances are, you’ll want to get rid of them after 3 days of walking round the sticky stadium floor.

What to bring to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens

To help your weekend go smoothly, we recommend packing:

  • Suncream: There is usually one sunny or overcast day where those less sensible come away with very impressive sunburn lines
  • Rain poncho: Yes, we know we just said suncream, but the weather can be very unpredictable at that time of year
  • Wet wipes and hand sanitizer: We don’t really need to go into detail but when you have 30,000+ people boozing all weekend long, you can imagine the state of the stadium toilets
  • Cash: There are ATM machines inside the stadium but there aren’t many and lines form quickly. So, if you prefer to use cash rather than card, it’s best to get some before you get there
  • Bumbag: Don’t bother with a backpack or bulky wallet. Bum bags are all the rage for the Sevens weekend and are the perfect way to keep your phone, cash, cards, and keys safe (and dry)
  • Powerbank and cable: There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the day, being a bit too boozed to remember where your mates are and having no battery left to find them
  • Snacks and juice cartons: There are food vendors in the stadium but it’s worth packing a few sandwiches and granola bars — the quality of the food inside definitely doesn’t match the price. You’re also allowed to bring in juice cartons.

What you can’t bring to the HKG Sevens

There’s a list of prohibited items on the official website. The main thing to remember is that you are not allowed to bring plastic, glass, or metal bottles (except those containing baby food and medication) into the stadium.

Pro tip: There are water fountains stationed throughout the stadium so you can reuse your beer cup to hydrate between beverages.

Getting to Hong Kong Stadium

The Hong Kong Stadium is located in Causeway Bay, one of the popular tourist districts on the island. The easiest option is to take the MTR to Causeway Bay station, Exit F. It’s about a 10- to 15-minute walk from there. There are signs to follow but it’s easier just to look for the crowds of outrageously dressed people all walking in the same direction.

Where to stay

Stay in Causeway Bay if you want to be close to the action. | Photo by Gregory Lane

Hotels definitely ramp up their prices for the week before and after the Sevens but many hotels also offer special Seven’s packages. They usually include benefits like discounted rates for a 3 night stay, complimentary shuttle buses to the stadium, free welcome drinks, and tickets to the event itself.

In terms of location, the stadium is well situated in Causeway Bay, a short walk away from the MTR station. So where you stay depends on how close you want to be to the action. If you’d prefer to walk to and from the event, you could base yourself around Causeway Bay. Wan Chai is also a good option. It’s one stop away on the MTR station or a quick taxi ride away.

If you’re looking to party after the rugby, then base yourself nearer Central / Sheung Wan. Then you can walk home from the bars in Lan Kwai Fong afterwards. If you are staying slightly further out and taxi to the event, roads around the stadium close for the weekend so be prepared for some traffic as you get closer and expect to walk the last 5-10 minutes or so.

What to do after

Things finish fairly early on all 3 days. You could easily go get a bite to eat for dinner and be fed, hydrated, showered, and tucked up in bed by 10 p.m. — if you wanted to. If you don’t, then there are plenty of after party options.

The Sevens Village is a large tent set up in the field opposite the stadium itself. This is actually a good option for during the day if you don’t manage to get tickets, or you want a free but fun alternative. Games are broadcast all day on a large screen TV with plenty of food and drink available. After the matches finish, the music cranks up as the fans spill into the tent from the stadium.

If you need a bit of a break from the madness, grab some dinner from one of the many restaurants in Causeway Bay. Then head to either Lan Kwai Fong for the official Rugby Sevens after party or Wan Chai to dance to some live music until the early hours.

While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change.

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