THE Magic Weekend will be no more after the 2023 Super League season.
That change has come in since the input of IMG and their proposals moving forward for the game of rugby league.
Instead, it is hoped that more people will shell out for the Challenge Cup Final and the Super League Grand Final rather than the cost of another mid-season break to support their teams.
Looking back over the years, there have been just five venues that have hosted the Magic Weekend, with the concept first coming into being back in 2007. But which venues have been the best?
5. Anfield – Liverpool
The home of Premier League big hitters Liverpool, Anfield firmly deserves its place in fifth and last. Just 56,869 people attended the weekend in Merseyside, with the distance from the city centre to the stadium a great reason as to why a number of spectators failed to travel.
4. Murrayfield – Edinburgh
Held in 2009 and 2010 at Edinburgh following two years in Cardiff, the Magic Weekend didn’t exactly take hold in the Scottish capital. Though 59,749 people attended the event in 2009, just 52,043 spectators made their way to Murrayfield for the second weekend in 2010. That number has proven to be the lowest on record since the concept began 15 years ago. No wonder then that Edinburgh has not been revisited.
3. Etihad Stadium – Manchester
Three Magic Weekend events at the Etihad Stadium produced solid numbers, but moving the event to Manchester proved a divisive decision. With the city already hosting the Grand Final, some fans wanted it moved elsewhere, but the Etihad still played out some incredible clashes including the controversial Hull derby and two Wigan classic victories against Leeds. 2012’s visit saw 63,716 flock to the Etihad and then 62,042 and 64,552 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
2. Millennium Stadium – Cardiff
Home to the first Magic Weekend, the Millennium Stadium will always have a special place in Super League history. That first Magic Weekend proved that the idea was one worth continuing with as 58,831 people made the trip to the Welsh capital in 2007 for its inaugural year before that number increased to 63,144 the year after. In fact, Cardiff proved so popular that the RFL brought it back to the previously-named Millennium Stadium in 2010.
1. St James’ Park – Newcastle
There really can be only one winner here. Newcastle United’s St James’ Park has become the home of the Magic Weekend since it was first taken to the north east back in 2015. Since then, the attendance has never been below 60,000 with a record 68,276 making the trip in 2016. The fact that the final Magic Weekend on the calendar in 2023 will return to St James’ Park proves just how brilliant the concept has taken hold in Newcastle.