USA Sevens declared giant success
USA Sevens organisers heralded the 2012 tournament in Las Vegas a major success after Samoa thrilled a record crowd to win the fifth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
In all 64,107 fans came through the turnstiles over the three match days and the 30,112 on day two was the biggest ever rugby crowd to assemble in North America.
"We're very happy to eclipse the 60,000 barrier over the three days. It is really a testament to everyone working very hard," said USA Sevens tournament director, Dan Lyle.
"Growing the game in the States is a challenge as we know but it can be done, we are proving it can be done and we are on our way.
"We have quite a lot of people from the southern hemisphere in the stands but it's Las Vegas and that lends itself to the international party that we promote and adding the element of high class sporting fun it is really exciting to be in the middle of a growth element and proving some points that the sport is on the rise.
"I think with the third day we could become as big as Hong Kong now, we are a similar size stadium, 40,000 give or take, so we could put 120,000 through the gates over the three days.
"We are similar to Hong Kong and Dubai in that we are not exactly indigenous to rugby. While they have a 30-year head start they are still at 40 or 50% from their own market and we are 75% out of ours so we have to convince people to come here year on year, which is what Las Vegas want us to do, but at the same time getting the locals to buy in and make it their own by giving them a little bit of the international experience each year."
Kayange: Fans were amazing
The atmosphere at the Sam Boyd Stadium was helped further by the fact that several of the crowd favourites made it through to the latter stages.
Samoa enjoyed vociferous support from their travelling fans, as did Fiji and the ever-popular Kenyans.
"The fans were amazing. They really come out for the three days," said Kenya stalwart Humphrey Kayange.
"They shout for us for all our games and they are still shouting for the other teams as well so it brings that Sevens feeling and playing in front of a crowd like this is something you really look forward to.
"It was a good start in Wellington and picking up from there to win the Plate here is a great feeling for the team. This is a positive for us, and we can now look forward to Hong Kong and Japan."
Video: Final day highlights - USA Sevens
8-10 February 2013
Venue: Sam Boyd Stadium
City: Las Vegas