It’s that time of the year again – Time for the Cathay Pacific HSBC Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. It is the most anticipated sports event in Hong Kong for all ages (especially adults!). So the end of March will be the weekend to let the beer flow and cheering get louder daily.
The Hong Kong Sevens schedule will soon be on everyone’s calendar; the event begins on 31st March and until 2nd April. The Hong Kong sports event invites 28 national rugby teams, including woman international teams. For the first time in 2023, the city will host a leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. Making the 2023 Sevens even more exciting!
The event brings excited fans from all over the world, who will hope the event flows smoothly. If things go right, the Sevens will be the biggest event triumph after odd three years in Hong Kong. However, unforeseen reasons can always force an event cancellation.
Hence the article will discuss the different types of event cancellations that can affect the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens or any sports event worldwide. Additionally, how sports event insurance may or may not cover these sports event cancellations.
What is Sports Event Insurance?
Sports event insurance is a high-quality event protection policy that covers the risks associated with sports events. It is crucial for most sports proceedings, regardless of size, location or purpose.
The insurance protects organisers from financial damage due to event cancellations, third-party lawsuits, and property damage expenses. However, sports event insurance covers only a specific number of reasons for event cancellations which are out of the organiser’s control.
It is the best insurance for organising sports competitions like the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens and specific Rugby Sevens risks.
Different Types of Event Cancellations That May Affect The Hong Kong Sevens
Hong Kong’s weather always has been unpredictable, with sudden rain after sunny days or typhoons. Especially with the rise of global warming, the weather has become more uncertain and dangerous. Therefore horrible weather can always be a reason to force sports event cancellations in Hong Kong.
For example, in Asia Rugby Championship 2015, Japan vs Hong Kong had to be cancelled due to heavy rain and a flooded pitch. The match was cancelled 13 minutes in, as the weather was too dangerous. Such cancellations can be frustrating and can happen before or during the event.
Weather cancellations, especially before the event, can cost the organiser large amounts. In the case of Hong Kong Sevens, the organisation company will have to refund all attendees, still pay venue costs, and lose many deposit expenses. Let’s hope no freak typhoon appears this year.
No-show event cancellations represents when key participants or crew don’t appear for the event. The cancellation is rare for the Hong Kong Sevens; if one team cannot attend, their place is forfeited. Additionally, there are endless options for staff and crew in Hong Kong. However, what if most of the biggest teams cannot attend?
The reason is unusual but is possible; for example, in 2022, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens retendered with 16 teams, eight fewer than in previous years. Commissioner for Sports Yeung Tak-Keung stated, “The Hong Kong Rugby Union has confidence it will see 16 teams in the competitions, or they would not have announced the resumption of the tournament“.
Thankfully, the 16 teams were enough to continue the competition. Nevertheless, as mentioned in the quote, event cancellation is possible if not enough teams participate.
No sports competition is successful when it lacks teams or favoured winners. In such cases, the no-show will result in the cancellation of the Hong Kong Sevens or at least postponement. Once again, the organisers will be liable to return ticket funds and lose a lot financially. Thankfully, there seems to be no sign of big no-shows, and the competition seems tough.
Equipment and Venue Damage Cancellations
Equipment and venue are key when hosting large sports events like the Hong Kong Sevens. There is no tournament without a venue, scoreboard, or broadcasting equipment. Therefore, critical equipment or venue damage just before the event will be another reason for event cancellations.
This sudden misfortune will not allow the event to run smoothly and successfully, forcing the organiser to postpone the event for the better. For example, the event will be cancelled or postponed if pipes burst at the stadium and cause flooding on the pitch or seating area. Such situations have occurred in the biggest stadiums, such as the Tottenham football stadium and the famous Dodger Stadium.
Unexpected event equipment and venue damage are hard to fix when it happens abruptly before the event. A sporting event organiser will be blamed if the damage affects the sports, which can lead to lawsuits. Hence, the host(s) must postpone the event to be safe and responsible. The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens without a scoreboard would be pretty tough to follow, wouldn’t it?
Social Unrest Cancellations
Every country has faced some sort of unwanted social unrest in the past few years. Social unrest includes civil disorders, protests, and strikes. Social unrest is a challenging condition that can affect events and force event cancellations. They can prevent the sports event from running smoothly or bring danger to participants and attendees.
For example, transport or employee strikes are common in some countries and could happen anywhere. Transport strikes will prevent players and fans from flying into the hosting country. On the other hand, employee strikes will create a talent gap, where the event will not have enough staff to run. These two strikes would significantly disrupt the event and would not be worth continuing.
The organiser has to consider the safety of its participants & attendees while focusing on the quality of the event. Imagine the Hong Kong Sevens without food and drinks, due to F&B employee strike. It just won’t be the Sevens and will be cancelled for good reasons.
Will Event Insurance Cover These Possible Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Event Cancellations?
Sports event insurance is essential to cover the above event cancellation reasons. The insurance will cover the irrecoverable financial loss due to the cancellations, such as deposits, ticket refunds and compensation expenses.
It is crucial to understand the insurance will not cover any more pandemic cancellations. Unlike in 2020, when event insurance covered Wimbledon Covid cancellation. Hopefully, there is no new pandemic coming any time soon, but in such cases, the company will have to bear the loss.
Sports event insurance is the safety net for the Cathey Pacific HSBC Rugby Sevens when organising and executing the event at the end of March. Sports insurance allows the hosting business to focus on executing the best event. With insurance, the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens can ‘Play on!’.
To further understand sports event insurance and other great coverage, read our article- Sports Events Insurance- The Beginning to A Successful Sports Event.
To learn more about sports events insurance and cover sports event cancellations and more in Hong Kong & Asia, contact Red Asia Insurance.