Newcastle continues to play fine host for the Magic Weekend for Rugby League teams. The tenth weekend game did not show any falling of attendance at the St James Park, with attendance was sky high for the league match that was part of the two day festival.
It seems to have become part of the league’s calendar of events now. If you look back to 2007 when it all started, the situation was similar as it is today. The Millennium stadium in Cardiff had been full with about thirty thousand people – even though the game was between Harlequins and Catalans Dragons, the stadium sold out.
That was the first of the Magic Weekends that was held ended with a bang when Leeds were able to overpower Bradford Bulls in a match that was considered controversial – there were jaw dropping moments when the drama or the excitement of the games refused to stop!
Today the same Super League ‘Magic Weekend’ moves into the tenth year, with tickets selling out in record time (second in popularity only to England’s Autumn internationals matches) though some are still available through this website. The organizers of the tournament often wonder how the tournament has managed to remain popular so far – not least because, at the time it was conceived and played, Rugby League was suffering a little in terms of glamour and appeal.
At the time when the tournament was conceived it was uncertain how long the tournament would last, but after impressive spectator turn-outs in Manchester, it was decided that the concept should be a regular addition to the league season. It was held at the Etihad stadium between 2012 and 2014, before moving to St James Park in 2015.
Newcastle have provided the right venue for the rugby league tournament and the game has had great success in getting spectators into the ground, especially new youngsters who are having their first chance to see the game.