Following the success of the 2015 Magic Weekend, the Super League has announcedthat the 2016 event will be returning to St James’ Park, Newcastle on Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22.
Magic Weekend was first held in Newcastle earlier this year and more than 67,000 fans were in attendance across the course of the weekend – the highest ever for the two-day event.
Fixtures for Magic Weekend 2016 have also been revealed, with 2015 First Utility Super League Grand Finalists Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors playing in the final game on Saturday evening. The Rhinos, who defeated the Warriors 22-20 at Old Trafford, will lock horns with Wigan for the fourth successive year at Magic Weekend at 7.00pm on Saturday May 21.
Treble winning Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott said: “Magic Weekend is a brilliant event and it’s great that it’s going to be in Newcastle again.
“It’s a fantastic stadium and there were lots of fans there this year which created a memorable atmosphere. I am particularly pleased for everyone involved in Rugby League in the North East.
“I know from personal experience how hard they have worked down the years to promote our game and it is fitting that they get their reward with another Magic Weekend after the success of last year’s event. Hopefully it will be even better next year.”
Salford Red Devils and Widnes Vikings will kick the two-day Rugby League extravaganza off when they go head-to-head at 2.30pm. Castleford Tigers and Warrington Wolves will square off at 4.45pm before the Grand Final rematch brings the curtain down on an action-packed first day.
Day two begins with Catalans Dragons and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at 1.00pm followed by Huddersfield Giants facing St Helens in the penultimate game of the weekend. Magic Weekend climaxes with one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes – the Hull derby – where the city’s bragging rights will be up for grabs between Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers.
Super League General Manager Blake Solly said: “We’re delighted that Magic Weekend will be staged at Newcastle’s St James’ Park in 2016.
“Magic Weekend this year was a huge success. We had a record attendance for the weekend and it contained some incredible moments that will live long in the memory. I would like to thank everyone in Newcastle for their support with the event and hopefully we can build on the brilliant success of 2015.”
Lee Charnley, Managing Director of Newcastle United, said: “Magic Weekend was, without doubt, one of the best events we have ever hosted here at St James’ Park. We welcomed record crowds, the atmosphere was superb – as was the rugby – and there was a collective effort from all those involved to promote Newcastle and the North East to visitors from across the UK.
“Ever since the event in May, we have been working hard together with the City Council and NE1 Ltd to attract the Super League back to Newcastle once again. We are delighted with today’s announcement and look forward to hosting an even more successful Magic Weekend next year.”
The 2016 Magic Weekend schedule is as follows:
Saturday May 21
2.30pm – Salford Red Devils v Widnes Vikings
4.45pm – Castleford Tigers v Warrington Wolves
7.00pm – Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors
Sunday May 22
1.00pm – Catalans Dragons v Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
3.15pm – Huddersfield Giants v St Helens
5.30pm – Hull FC v Hull Kingston Rovers