Magic Weekend returns to St. James’ Park
Dacia Magic Weekend will be returning to St. James’ Park in summer 2020 following consultation between Betfred Super League and its fans.
The showpiece rugby league event had a hugely popular five-year stint at the home of Newcastle United between 2014 and 2018, attracting record crowds for the competition.
Magic Weekend, which has also been held in Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff in its history, was moved to Anfield - home of Liverpool Football Club - for the first time in 2019.
But following feedback from rugby league supporters, it will now return to the North East on the bank holiday weekend of 23rd - 24th May 2020, with 12 teams facing off across six action-packed fixtures.
"We are delighted to be able to host Magic Weekend again in 2020," said Newcastle United’s managing director, Lee Charnley.
"Alongside partners in the city, we are proud to be able to bring this special event back to Newcastle and we look forward to welcoming the Super League teams and fans to St. James’ Park once again."
Super League CEO, Robert Elstone, said: "Super League had a great time at Anfield. In particular, it will be an experience that will live long in the memories of our players.
"However, we have now spoken at length to our fans and listened to what they have had to say.
"In addition, we have had the opportunity to take advantage of some fierce competition for the event from competing venues.
"As a result of both, we are delighted to announce that the Dacia Magic Weekend 2020 will return to Newcastle and St. James' Park."
St. James’ Park has developed a reputation as a world-class venue for both codes of rugby in recent years, hosting three international rugby union matches in the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and, just last month, England’s final warm-up fixture before this year’s finals in Japan.
At club level, the stadium has played host to two of Newcastle Falcons’ Premiership fixtures, as well as European Rugby’s most prestigious finals - the Heineken Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup - in summer 2019.
As well as drawing tens of thousands of extra visitors from across the world to Tyneside, the events have also had a major impact on the city’s economy.
Councillor Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment and culture at Newcastle City Council, added: "This is another fantastic sporting event arriving in our city and reinforces Newcastle’s growing reputation as a city that can host huge sporting occasions and really put on a show."
In a statement, NE1, the business improvement district for the city centre, said: "It is great news for Newcastle and the region and is testament to the successful partnership between Newcastle City Council, Newcastle United Football Club and NE1 Ltd that we have managed to bring the event back to the city.
"Magic Weekend and Newcastle are a winning combination. Over the four years Magic was held here, it attracted a record breaking number of spectators and delivered a major boost to the city’s economy with carnival style atmosphere around the city to match the fast paced rugby action on the pitch.
"Supporters and teams love the event being held in the heart of such a vibrant city and Newcastle enjoys hosting and is already looking forward to welcoming the return of Magic Weekend next year."
Fixture and ticket information will be confirmed in due course.
For more information on Betfred Super League, please visit superleague.co.uk.