USA Sevens, NBC and Global Spectrum, operators of PPL Park, announced this afternoon that the Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC) will return to PPL Park in Chester in 2012, based on the success of the 2011 event, which concluded on Sunday, June 5. The announcement was made during NBC’s live broadcast of the CRC. The dates and participating teams of the 2012 CRC have not yet been decided.
“We are building a truly national event in the Collegiate Rugby Championship and can’t imagine better hosts than the Philadelphia region and PPL Park,” said Jonathan First, president of USA Sevens. “We’ll see you in Chester, PA in 2012.”
“Based on the overwhelming support of sports fans through the greater Philadelphia region, we are excited to bring the Collegiate Rugby Championship back to PPL Park again next spring,” said John Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports and VERSUS. “PPL Park is a spectacular facility. Global Spectrum, who manages PPL Park, has been incredibly supportive in the production, execution and marketing of this highly successful tournament. The city of Chester and particularly Mayor Butler have been wonderful to our student athletes, our fans and our partners. The Philadelphia region and rugby are a perfect combination, as this weekend we have clearly laid the foundation for future successes of this event right here at PPL Park.”
The 2011 CRC featured 16 of the top collegiate men’s rugby clubs and eight of the top collegiate women’s rugby clubs in a two-day tournament with 38 matches. The weekend-long rugby festival also included live entertainment from rock band Dropkick Murphys, gourmet food carts, rugby youth interactive area, high school combine, international beer garden and rugby legends.
“This weekend more great memories were made at PPL Park and we are delighted NBC and Rugby Sevens for all top-level sports and entertainment presentations,” said Nick E. Sakiewicz, CEO and Operating Partner of Keystone Sports and Entertainment, LLC.
“We are thrilled with the success of the 2011 Collegiate Rugby Championship at PPL Park,” said Global Spectrum’s Mike Scanlon, General Manager of PPL Park. “Bringing the CRC back to Chester in 2012 is a true testament to the diversity and functionality of PPL Park and the great partners we’ve worked with on this event. As rugby continues to grow in popularity, we hope to become the permanent home of the CRC and look forward to bringing similar big-time, non-soccer events to PPL Park for years to come.”
USA Sevens owns and operates America’s premier rugby event, the USA Sevens Rugby Tournament. Held annually, the event is one of the eight international stops in the HSBC Sevens World Series. With an attendance of over 50,000 during the two-day event, it is the largest annual rugby event in North America and one of the fastest growing rugby events in the world.
Global Spectrum (global-spectrum.com) manages PPL Park, as well as more than 100 other public assembly facilities around the world. Nearly 20-million people attended more than 11,000 events in Global Spectrum venues last year. Based in Philadelphia, PA, Global Spectrum is part of Comcast-Spectacor, one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment companies. Comcast-Spectacor also owns the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider, New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities, Paciolan, the leading provider of venue establishment ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions, Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company, and Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks. In a partnership with Disson Skating, Comcast-Spectacor annually produces eight nationally televised figure skating spectaculars on NBC-TV.