The Super League’s annual Magic Weekend event will not return to Newcastle next year, in a massive shake up which has left many fans outraged. Instead, the round of Rugby League fixtures will take place in Leeds at Elland Road, on the weekend of August 17-18 – including a showdown between Grand Final winners in Wigan and St Helens.
The Yorkshire stadium becomes the sixth venue for the Magic Weekend since its inception back in 2007, but the unofficial home of the event in many people’s hearts is St James’ Park – due to the sheer number of times Newcastle has had the privilege of hosting it. St James’ Park first welcomed the event between 2015 and 2018, before it moved onto Anfield in Liverpool in 2019.
But the Magic Weekend returned to the Toon in 2021, where it has been held ever since without interruption. This year’s event saw an attendance of 36,943 on the Saturday (June 3) and 26,369 on the Sunday (June 4) with people travelling from far and wide to watch six fixtures over the weekend.
And despite the terrific turnout, Magic Weekend will move to Leeds next year – leaving many Rugby League fans disheartened, taking to social media to air their grievances. Taking to X, one wrote: “Tragic not Magic. RIP Magic Weekend,” while another, added: “The fall of The Magic Weekend starts now.”
A third, vented: “It’s funny seeing all these Leeds fans saying how great magic weekend will do there, yet they seemed to have forgotten how much of a flop the big bash was when it was moved to Leeds,” while a fourth, went on: “What an awful move. Magic Weekend could be used to promote the game elsewhere in the country, but putting it in Leeds? In a smaller stadium? What’s the point? Just like the summer bash the RFL happy to destroy it.”
It comes after the sport’s power-brokers in IMG made their intentions known of scrapping the format altogether earlier this year, with plans to replace the Magic Weekend with an unspecified alternative to reduce fixture congestion. But an almost-unanimous disapproval from fans made officials rethink their plans altogether, leaving Geordies hopeful at the prospect of seeing the event return next year.
The next Magic Weekend will take place at Elland Road in Leeds, between August 17 and August 18 2024. All six fixtures will also be shown on Sky Sports following a new three-year broadcast deal which was announced last month.
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