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Magic Weekend confirmed for May 2021 – Biggest St James Park crowd in 14 months

2 months ago
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News is still awaited on whether Newcastle fans could be allowed to return to St James Park next month.

The Government later today will announce whether Newcastle Upon Tyne with be in tier one, two or three.

From what I’m reading, the mood very much appears to be that along with the rest of the north east we will be placed in tier three with no fans allowed.

Although we can still retain some hope maybe of tier two, which would allow up to 2,000 fans inside St James Park (tier one would mean 4,000 fans but no chance of that for the foreseeable) for games after 2 December 2020, if Mike Ashley allows it to then happen…

However, looking further ahead, to hopefully better prevailing virus conditions, it has been announced today that the Magic Weekend will go ahead at St James Park on the weekend of 29 and 30 May 2021.

Previous years have seen very successful Magic Weekends at St James Park, big crowds turning up of locals and fans of the individual Rugby League clubs especially, for a weekend of games where there is a full round of league fixtures played at a neutral venue. The initiative trying to broaden the appeal / exposure of the sport.

The Newcastle United home season is set to end on the weekend of Saturday 15 May 2021 with a game at St James Park against Sheffield United, two weeks before Magic Weekend.

We can only guess at what progress is set to be made, if any…on fans returning to NUFC games in these next six months but ironically, every chance that rugby league at the end of May 2021 will see the biggest crowds at St James Park for over 14 months.

Here’s hoping by then that the virus situation is much improved and the local hospitality sector in particular, can benefit from events such as the Magic Weekend, plus of course the proper return of Newcastle fans to St James Park in numbers.

BBC Sport report:

‘The 2021 Super League season will start on 11 March with the Grand Final set to return to Old Trafford on 9 October.

Magic Weekend will also return to Newcastle’s St James’ Park across the weekend of 29-30 May.

Clubs will play 13 home matches in a 27-game regular season, including the Magic Weekend, with the full fixture list released in January.

The later season start will also result in a repeat of the six-team play-off format used in the delayed 2020 season.

An early October Grand Final is also planned because of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England, which is scheduled to start on 23 October when England men face Samoa at St James’ Park.

“With the ongoing uncertainty around Covid-19, a later start date gives us a better chance of playing more games in front of fans in 2021,” said Super League executive chairman Robert Elstone.

Magic Weekend and an Old Trafford Grand Final both had to be cancelled during the 2020 season due to Covid-19 and the ban on spectators attending fixtures.’

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