Newcastle United have officially confirmed on Wednesday morning that the Rugby League Magic Weekend will return for a third year in a row.
The games will take place at St James Park on Saturday 20 May and Sunday 21 May.
The Championship fixtures end on Saturday 6 May and no doubt play-off dates have been factored in, just in case…
The Championship play-off final at Wembley is on Monday 29 May and so any play-off semi-final matches would need to take place at St James Park before that Magic Weekend.
There are no dates for the play-off semi-finals as yet but they usually take place around two weeks before the final.
Official Newcastle United Statement:
Following the record breaking success of the 2016 Dacia Magic Weekend, Super League (Europe) is delighted to announce that the 2017 event will be returning to St. James’ Park, Newcastle, on Saturday, May 20th and Sunday, May 21st.
Magic Weekend was first held in Newcastle in 2015 and returned for a second year in 2016 when more than 68,000 fans attended across the weekend – the highest ever recorded for the two-day event.
The fixtures for Magic Weekend 2017 have also been revealed, with three Betfred Super League games taking place on the Saturday and three on the Sunday.
Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves will face each other in a rematch of the 2016 Super League Grand Final in the closing game on Saturday evening. The Warriors, who defeated the Wolves 12-6 at Old Trafford earlier this month, will lock horns with Warrington for the first ever time at a Magic Weekend at 7pm on Saturday, May 20th.
The two other Super League semi-finalists, Hull FC and St. Helens, will face each other on Saturday afternoon at 4.45pm following the opening fixture of the weekend, Widnes Vikings v Wakefield Trinity which kicks off the round of Betfred Super League fixtures at 2.30pm.
Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield Giants will kick off the second day of the annual Rugby League extravaganza when they go head-to-head at 1pm. Leigh Centurions will get their first ever taste of a Dacia Magic Weekend as they take on the Salford Red Devils at 3.15pm before one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes of the Rugby League season, a Yorkshire derby between Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers, brings the curtain down on an action-packed weekend at 5.30pm.
Announcing the decision to return to St. James’ Park, Super League General Manager, Mark Foster, said: “We are delighted to be bringing the Dacia Magic Weekend back to Newcastle for the third successive year. The city has made us feel incredibly welcome and we know that our fans love visiting the North East not just to witness a whole round of the Betfred Super League but also to take in everything else that this wonderful city and surrounding area has to offer.”
Lee Charnley, Newcastle United’s Managing Director, said: “It is fantastic to welcome the Super League’s Magic Weekend back to Newcastle and St. James’ Park for a third successive year.
“It has become a real highlight in the North East’s sporting calendar over the past two years, with record attendances and a great atmosphere in and around the city.
“It’s excellent news too for the local economy and we are proud to work together with our partners in the city to attract events of this calibre to Newcastle.”
It is estimated that the 2016 Dacia Magic Weekend was worth more than £4m to the local economy in the North East and having broken the record for attendance at a Magic Weekend two years in a row it is expected that crowds will head to the city in large numbers once again.
Leader of Newcastle City Council, Councillor Nick Forbes, said: “I’m delighted by this hat trick for Newcastle. Hosting the Magic Weekend for the third year in a row is a chance to show the nation once again all that our vibrant city centre and warm Geordie welcome have to offer.
“Newcastle is gaining a stronger and stronger reputation for hosting major sporting and cultural events. This is all part of our plan to make Newcastle the Great North City, and we know that tournaments such as this attract visitors who want to come back time and again.
“The Magic Weekend is also brilliant for promoting grassroots sports and as in previous years there will be a lot of ways for fans of all ages and abilities to join in the celebrations.”
Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd, co-city sponsors of Dacia Magic Weekend, said: “We’re delighted that the Dacia Magic Weekend is returning to Newcastle for the third year running. After hosting hugely successful events in 2015 and 2016, both of which saw record breaking attendance, this is great news for the city, the Super League and the fans. It is fantastic to see the city coming together to secure these high profile events for the city, especially in light of last week’s announcement on the Great North Expo. We can’t wait to welcome the Super League and Magic fans back to Newcastle.”
Tickets for the 2016 Magic Weekend at St. James’ Park, Newcastle, are now on sale and day tickets are priced from £25 for adults and £12.50 for concessions. Weekend tickets are also available from £40 for adults and £20 for concessions.
Tickets can be purchased by visiting rugby-league.com/tickets or by calling the Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113 (calls cost 7p plus your network connection)
The full 2017 Dacia Magic Weekend schedule is as follows:
Saturday, May 20th 2017
Widnes Vikings v Wakefield Trinity (14:30)
Hull FC v St. Helens (16:45)
Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves (19:00)
Sunday, May 21st 2017
Catalans Dragons v Huddersfield Giants (13:00)
Leigh Centurions v Salford Red Devils (15:15)
Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos (17:30)