Liquor licence expected for Wellington sevens

Organisers of the Wellington Sevens remain supremely confident they will be granted a special licence to sell alcohol at next year's event, which also features an enhanced entertainment package.

Following a review of this year's tournament, the police and Spotless, who hold the licence as contractors to Westpac Stadium, agreed that the sevens would become a special case outside of the venue's standard alcohol licence.

The 2015 instalment of the tournament will begin on Waitangi Day and will feature an earlier start time of midday in a bid to put people off pre-loading, which can lead to excessive intoxication.

Westpac Stadium chief executive Shane Harmon said the key stakeholders hoped to have the licence sorted by the end of the month.

"We expect to submit the licence [to the District Licensing Committee], hopefully within the next week," he said.

"We are very confident. Ultimately we don't make the decision. It's the DLL that makes the decision. We wish to submit an application that the police are happy with and comfortable with in advance and that we are all going to the table with the same message and that we are comfortable with the plan that's in place."

The submission would focus on an improved effort around monitoring the level of intoxication among patrons when they enter Westpac Stadium and their levels of intoxication during the day. There could also be changes to the amount of alcohol punters could buy during the day.

Wellington Sevens general manager Marty Donoghue and former All Black Jonah Lomu fronted a presentation in Wellington todaywhere they announced that KC and the Sunshine Band would perform on day one of next year's tournament, likely around dinner time.

Sevens management surveyed more than 3000 people following this year's event about what improvements could be made.

Aside from extra entertainment, the result was lowered ticket prices with a heavily-discounted option for children of only $40. A general pass for two days for adults will cost $195.

"We are about creating an experience for our fans," Donoghue said. "This is about us creating the stadium as a destination."

The tournament will also offer a Premier Zone with seats near halfway to allow rugby-minded folk to be closer to the action. Premier Zone tickets will cost $239 and tickets for next year's tournament will go on sale on September 16.

Lomu spoke of the importance of sevens for rugby given it will feature at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

"This is our home-grown tournament and we should cherish it," he said.

By Daniel Richardson of APNZ

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