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Pencil It In: Return to Glendale 7s

  • 24 Oct 2018

Photos: Alex Ho /

The HSBC USA Women’s 7s tournament was a fantastic event. The international teams came through with the high-paced action and drama that marks the sport of 7s, and it paired so perfectly with Infinity Park and Colorado. The event will remain in Glendale for the next two years, and I highly recommend experiencing it for yourself.


Fall is a beautiful time for Glendale and the opt-outside opportunities are plentiful (enough to impress the Black Ferns [photo], who train in a wonderland themselves). Temperatures were in the 60s-70s – and yes, the previous weekend brought snow, but such are the vicissitudes of the fresh Rocky Mountain seasons.

INFINITY PARK … is equally as endearing. It’s an intimate setting that can accommodate 5,000 shoulder-to-shoulder, and every seat feels like front-row access. There are nice touches here and there – a gap in the fence near the 50m, where spectators can lounge on the grass-hill perimeter; elevated vantage points accessible to all; VIP lounge, etc.

There was also re-entry, and the stadium is walking distance to plenty of eateries, and other amenities. On Saturday, Octoberfest took over the upper turf tier and introduced Colorado’s famed beer industry to a primed audience.

Photo: Alex Ho /

The staff was great, too. From Jenna Anderson to emceeing the co-ed minis and girls’ high school 7s games and on-pitch contests in between rounds, to current and former Glendale Merlins like 7s Olympian Carmen Farmer and many WPL-ers who played Chicago North Shore the evening before working the grounds.

On that note, the newly laid turf pitch adjacent to the stadium is superb, with hillside seating and lights. Social 7s tournament, anyone?

ALSO … Obviously a personal opinion, but I love the event logo. Next to Project Rugby Love, the event produced my favorite merchandise.

Photo: Alex Ho /

FUTURE … Now that the event is guaranteed to return for two more years, leagues and competitions can schedule around it. No one had a gap weekend for Oct. 20-21 – not even the local leagues – so I’d expect a huge jump in attendance once the international 7s tournament is prioritized on schedules.

RUGBY … It’s why you’re there at the end of the day, and the Eagles gave the hometown crowd more than enough reason to return. And all of the big international stars were there, eager to lead their teams to Olympic qualification. Additionally, as the first stop on the series, it’s a first chance to see newcomers looking to break in (hello, Alena Olsen, Steph Rovetti and Lauren Thunen!).

There’s great joy in participating in an event where women’s rugby is the showpiece. Glendale is a fantastic place to indulge, and I can’t recommend future attendance enough.

#USA7s Glendale

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