The Managing Director of Newcastle Falcons is confident that the city is ready to rock the Rugby League calendar as it debuts as host to the Magic Weekend.
Mick Hogan has been one of several key figures in preparing for this weekend’s event with the Falcons, Newcastle Thunder and Newcastle United FC all working together to ensure the city can do the event justice.
And having been impressed with the interest in the event so far, Hogan wants the city to host the event for years to come.
“We want to keep this event. Everyone assumes it will go back to Manchester. We want to put on such a show that the will make fans, the clubs and the media say it should stay in Newcastle.
“Surely the purpose is to be a big commercial vehicle for the league and earn more money, and generate development. Newcastle fits the bill on both. The clubs have sold a lot of tickets and Newcastle Council has given PR support.”
Championship 1 side Thunder shall open the weekend’s proceedings when they take on York City Knights at Kingston Park, the home of the Falcons, in what has been dubbed as ‘Magic Friday’ before the Super League sides face off at St. James’ Park on Saturday and Sunday.
“It will be our biggest crowd for several years,” Hogan told League Express.
“It (Kingston Park) is a proper rugby ground that can hold 10,000 and is closed in, stand or sit. We have a top end 4G surface which means the Thunder can do all their training on the pitch. Before games we have had 500 kids playing Rugby League, after the game we let the fans come on.
“It will be a massive boost for the club. Moving in with the Falcons was the first boost and off the field Keith Christie (Newcastle Thunder Managing Director) and his people have done a great job.
“We had 1,500 for Barrow, and if we can get 2,000 for this it would be huge.”
This week’s League Express features a comprehensive preview of all six games from the Magic Weekend.