IRB scolds drunk Sevens fans
Wellington - Drunk Wellington Sevens fans have left the IRB unimpressed and there are calls for the concourse to become liquor-free.
According to stuff.co.nz website
, commentator Keith Quinn, who says behaviour of crowds is getting progressively worse each year, has called for a dry-zone in the Westpac Stadium concourse from late afternoon to early evening during the tournament.
People would be able to buy alcohol in the concourse but would have to take it back in to the stadium to drink.
It would create a situation where people were there to watch a game and drink, as opposed to just getting drunk, he said.
He had talked to IRB Sevens tournament operations manager Beth Coulter after the last Wellington Sevens.
"[She] gave the impression to me they were not impressed with the behaviour of the Wellington crowd."
While there was no talk of Wellington losing the Sevens, Quinn pointed out there were many places – including Auckland, Europe, Argentina, and Suva – which would like to take it off us.
In the past two years he had personally had bad experiences with drunk punters.
Once, he and sports commentator John McBeth had been walking from the stadium and held back from a "rowdy" group of 25 people at traffic lights, knowing they would be recognised and harassed.
In another incident, McBeth had to help a taxi driver remove a girl from a taxi who, having just vomited, had jumped in his taxi and offered the driver "sexual payment" instead of money for a trip to Wainuiomata.
Wellington councillor John Morrison, a vocal opponent of tighter liquor controls at the Sevens, said there were only a few more arrests in the city during the tournament compared to other times.
Wellington City Council – which issues a liquor license for the Sevens – had previously discussed tighter liquor control.
While it was not on the table right now "it's very likely to come before us again", he said.
Tighter restrictions would penalise the vast majority who were well behaved, in order to police the few who weren't.
"We are so amazing in this country. We want to have rules to stop a few people doing something."
The Sevens already had a family area which was dry. It was the least-utilised area, he said.
Quinn's proposal to have a non-drinking concourse was unworkable because people needed a break from seven hours of rugby and they would likely run into friends at the bar and want to talk to them, he said.