Cívitas Metropolitano, home of Spanish LaLiga football club Atlético de Madrid, has been awarded hosting rights for the grand final of the reimagined World Rugby Sevens Series for the next three years.
The agreement between World Rugby and the City of Madrid begins with the 2023-24 season, which will mark the first campaign of the remodelled series.
World Rugby announced plans to revamp its Sevens World Series back in November, placing an importance on the ‘sportainment’ aspect of the format and creating gender parity. The new-look series, which begins in December, will include seven festival-style events in seven global destinations across seven months, featuring the best 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams.
The Metropolitano has today (Tuesday) been announced as the host of the first three editions of the series finale. The first event will take place in June 2024 and will consist of a three-day festival of on-field action and off-field entertainment.
The full line-up of host venues for the 2023-24 season will be revealed in June. The Madrid event will feature the top eight ranked teams after six rounds, while the teams ranked ninth to 12th will join the top four ranked teams from the Challenger Series in a relegation play-off competition that will see four teams secure their places in the following year’s Sevens World Series.
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Madrid, one of the world’s great cities, to the World Rugby Sevens Series from 2023-24. With rugby on a major growth trend in Spain, Madrid’s hosting comes with the full support of the City who want to make ‘Madrid Es Rugby’ and I am sure the combination of Madrid, an iconic stadium, a new grand final format and a soon to be revealed entertainment offering, will make this event a must-attend for sports and entertainment fans.”
Madrid City Mayor José Luis Martinez Almeida added: “This will be the most important sporting event that Madrid will have in the coming years. We are thankful to World Rugby for choosing our city to host the World Rugby Sevens Series Grand Final.
“For us it is a big responsibility to hold the final event of the series. Not only because of the fans that will come to the city, nor for all the exposure we will have, but especially for what holding this event truly means for the future. The future of the children whose dreams are around a rugby ball. That is the reason why we want, together with the Spanish National Union and World Rugby, to drive different initiatives to make grassroots rugby grow in our city.”
The remodelled series will see men’s and women’s teams receive equal participation fees for the first time. In a move designed to attract a younger, more diverse and global fan base while generating greater revenues to reinvest in players and teams, the transformed hosting model will see World Rugby EventsCo assume greater responsibility for the delivery of events, working in partnership with host organisations.
Real estate developer Cívitas was unveiled as the new naming-rights sponsor of the Metropolitano in July last year. The company replaced Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group, which had sponsored the 68,450-capacity stadium since it opened in September 2017.