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Opinion

Magic Weekend and how Rugby League fans rank Newcastle against the 4 other cities/stadiums

3 months ago
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Earlier this week it was revealed that next time, Magic Weekend will be held in Leeds at Elland Road.

With the event to be held in late August 2024 rather than in May as has usually been the case, it was reported that Newcastle United hadn’t been able to facilitate Magic Weekend with the new football season already well under way.

Fair to say that Rugby League fans weren’t too impressed with the change in venue / city for 2024.

A Total Rugby League report has looked at the popularity / success of the five venues / cities that have hosted the Magic Weekend and here are some interesting snippets of what they have had to say…

Newcastle United’s St James’ Park heralded as the ‘home’ of the Magic Weekend, looking back on the event since it was created in 2007, the Magic Weekend has been held at five venues. Here is how they have been ranked in success.

5. Anfield – Liverpool, England

Coming in at last place – with virtually nobody arguing against this ranking… Back in 2019, Super League took the concept away from Newcastle where it had made its spiritual home. It’s fair to say that the experiment failed on all fronts as just 56,869 people made the journey to Liverpool, making it the second lowest attended Magic Weekend ever. The great distance between the city centre to the stadium was raised as an issue by supporters before the event even took place and that apathy was reflected in the numbers.

4. Murrayfield – Edinburgh, Scotland

…it proved to be a disappointing affair with just 52,043 supporters making the journey for the second year, making it the worst attended Magic Weekend event ever. 

3. Etihad Stadium – Manchester, England

In 2012 – the first year at the Etihad – 63,716 people made the journey before rugby league fans set a new record in 2014 when 64,552 people flocked to the stadium.

2. Millennium Stadium – Cardiff

…it proved to be largely successful with 58,831 people making the original trip to the Welsh capital. The concept was such a hit with the rugby league fraternity that the attendance number rose to 63,144 the year after. 

1. St James’ Park – Newcastle, England

It’s easy to pick the winner here with Newcastle United’s St James’ Park coming out on top quite emphatically. In 2015, the RFL took it upon themselves to shift from the north west to the north east – and what a decision it proved to be. Over 60,000 fans have made the trip to the Toon each year with a record 68,276 making the trip in 2016. Once again, Newcastle was the host for the 2023 version with the city centre’s proximity to the stadium being a major selling point of keeping the concept in the north east.

Nice to hear nice feedback about our city and club / stadium.

The Rugby League fans have year after year talked about how friendly the locals are, how good the stadium (St James’ Park) is, plus of course our brilliant unique location.

Such a big stadium right in the city centre with all those bars, restaurants, cafes and so on within five minutes or so walk, so Rugby League fans able to come and go from St James’ Park, watching the matches they want to see and other times visiting the pubs they want to see!

Anyway, good luck at Elland Road!

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