Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Great Weekend of Rugby Magic - Let's Hope for More Next Year; Celebration of Rugby League Lifts the City but, despite Its Success, There's No Guarantee It Will Be Held Here Again

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

A Great Weekend of Rugby Magic - Let's Hope for More Next Year; Celebration of Rugby League Lifts the City but, despite Its Success, There's No Guarantee It Will Be Held Here Again

Article excerpt

Newcastle has claimed a rugby league hat-trick of record attendances after another successful Magic Weekend in the city.

But despite this there are concerns the popular event, which is worth around PS4m to the local economy, might not return to the city next year.

Newcastle has staged the Magic Weekend - in which a full round of six matches between the 12 Super League teams are played - for the last three years at St James' Park.

The event as a whole has been running since 2007 having been previously staged in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester.

In its 11-year history, Newcastle boasts the three top attendances for it.

Last week Super League executive director Roger Draper reportedly said: "Yes, we will be welcoming expressions of interest (for 2018)."

But thoughts it might be a done deal already for Newcastle because of the big attendances appear were wide of the mark.

The numbers attending this year's event, we understand, are slightly down on the previous two years. Meanwhile Leeds, Coventry, Liverpool and London have been spoken as possibly venues although Newcastle has not been ruled out.

Mr Draper also said: "Having a three-year arrangement with a review after two allows you to build an event and give you stability, which we all know sports fans love."

If this option is the way forward, how likely would it be for Newcastle to be chosen as the Magic Weekend venue for the next three years, making it six years on the trot in total? We were unable to contact a spokesperson to clarify the situation.

The Super League showpiece kicked off at 2.30pm on Saturday with Widnes Vikings, Wakefield Trinity, Hull FC, St Helens, Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves in action.

It concluded on Sunday when Catalan Dragons, Huddersfield Giants, Leigh Centurions, Salford Red Devils, Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos took to the pitch, with over 60,000 fans having watched the games. …

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