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New Zealand
Wellington Sevens finally granted liquor licence
December 4, 2014
New Zealand will be looking to impress the Wellington fans © Getty Images

Despite criticisms that it is just a drunken fancy dress party, the Wellington Sevens tournament has kept its booze licence for next year's event.

It is promising to serve more food this February and Waitangi Day's play will finish about an hour earlier than in previous years. It has already cut ticket prices twice after struggling to fill the 35,000-seat Westpac Stadium in recent years. Organisers are again promising a tough line on drunkenness after police this year said there were too many intoxicated punters inside the stadium over the two days.

"For people who drink way too much - the message is simple - be prepared to miss what will be a great event as you won't get in," said stadium chief executive Shane Harmon. "It's not about being the fun police, but ensuring everyone can have a fun, social and responsible time."

Sevens Wellington general manager Steve Dunbar says organisers have been working with police, the local council and stadium security. "We've listened to what fans and the community want and are doing all we can to meet everyone's needs. We don't want the fun ruined by a minority who take it too far."

As well as the earlier finishing time on the Friday - the last game will kick off at 9pm - there will be free water, increased food options and an expanded selection of drinks - including non-alcoholic. There will also be "refresh zones" for those who need a break from the main festivities.

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