This season’s Dacia Magic Weekend will kick off on Saturday 4th September at Newcastle’s St James’ Park with Castleford Tigers taking on Salford Red Devils, before reigning Betfred Super League Champions, St Helens face Catalans Dragons. Day one will round off with Leeds Rhinos taking on Hull FC.
The following day will see the return of Leigh Centurions to the Magic Weekend and St James’ Park, the venue of their only previous appearance in 2017. The newly promoted Centurions will take on Hull KR in the final game of the weekend following on from Huddersfield Giants v Wakefield Trinity and Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves.
Super League chief commercial officer, Rhodri Jones, said: “Dacia Magic Weekend is an important part of the Betfred Super League calendar and it is great to have the event back in our plans for the upcoming 2021 season.
“Following the Prime Minister’s latest update about the easing of lockdown restrictions, we are optimistic that we will be able to welcome fans into St James’ Park to enjoy the festival atmosphere that makes Dacia Magic Weekend so special.
“With the event falling later in the calendar this year, it could be all to play for in the closing stages of the season with teams chasing the League Leaders’ shield, play-off spots or looking to avoid relegation.
“I’d like to pay thanks to Dacia for their ongoing support of this event as well as our event partners at Newcastle United, Newcastle City Council, Newcastle-Gateshead Initiative and NE1, and once again to Sky Sports for continuing to bring fans their excellent coverage of this unique event.”
Every game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Callum Chamberlain, the Senior Brand Communications Manager at Dacia, said: “Dacia Magic Weekend is an incredible moment in the Rugby League calendar, so we are delighted with the recent announcement that the event will take place on the 4th and 5th September at St James’ Park.
“Super League have worked incredibly hard to pull together an exciting, jam-packed weekend of fixtures and Dacia is proud and excited to continue to play a part in this pinnacle event.”
Cllr Ged Bell, Newcastle City Council Cabinet Member for Employment and Culture said: “I am really pleased that Super League is planning on bringing back Magic Weekend to Newcastle this September.
“Our city has a world class reputation for hosting events, and we have an unrivalled passion for all sports and culture. Newcastle knows how to put on a show and we look forward to welcoming fans from across the country to enjoy the weekend in our great city.
“The Prime Minister’s route out of lockdown means fans will once again return to stadiums in the coming months, meaning we can look forward to this excellent event with renewed optimism.
“The Covid pandemic has already impacted many of the events that take place in Newcastle every year, spectacular showcases which welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors and support businesses across the region. It is vital that as part of our recovery we develop and host events of all shapes and sizes and provide unique experiences across Newcastle and provide a much-needed boost to our wider economy.
“It is important that we look ahead to this event and plan for any eventuality. The vaccine roll out, localised test and trace systems and a greater understanding of the virus provide us a glimmer of hope that Magic Weekend can once again attract record crowds to St James’ Park. However, if any restrictions are still in place, we will work closely with the Super League, NE1 and businesses across the city to maximise on the opportunity in whatever way possible.”
Stephen Patterson, the Director of Communications at NE1 Ltd, said: “We are delighted that a date has been set for Magic Weekend’s welcome return to Newcastle.
“We were obviously disappointed the event had to be postponed last year but now the date is set, we can all look forward to the celebrations in September. Magic Weekend is always a highlight in the city’s event calendar, and we hope that by the autumn we’ll be able to welcome the fans back to St James’ Park to enjoy all the associated activities that the event brings.
“Magic Weekend and all its loyal supporters always give a huge boost to trade in Newcastle and this year, will play a significant part in helping the city and the wider region to bounce back from the pandemic.”
Dacia Magic Weekend fixtures have been re-formatted from those scheduled for 2020 to include Leigh Centurions. All teams will play on the same day (Saturday or Sunday) that they were scheduled to play on for the 2020 event. This is in acknowledgment of the fans who have committed to retain their 2020 tickets.
The formula for deciding fixtures each day is that teams will play the team they finished closest to in the final 2020 league standings.
For example, on Saturday it is Castleford Tigers (8th) vs Salford Red Devils (9th), St Helens (2nd) v Catalans Dragons (4th) and Leeds Rhinos (5th) v Hull FC (6th).
For those who purchased tickets for the 2020 event and haven’t claimed a refund, those tickets are still valid for 2021.
Details of when any additional tickets will go on sale will be announced in due course, although this is likely to be late Spring at the earliest.
Saturday, September 4
Castleford Tigers v Salford Red Devils
St Helens v Catalans Dragons
Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC
Sunday, September 5
Huddersfield Giants v Wakefield Trinity
Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves
Leigh Centurions v Hull KR