Anfield, home of English Premier League football club Liverpool, has continued its transformation into a multi-purpose stadium by landing hosting rights to rugby league’s Magic Weekend.
The Magic Weekend sees a full round of the Super League held at one stadium over a single weekend. Having been held for the past four years at St James’ Park, home of Premier League club Newcastle United, the event will move to Anfield in 2019 and will be staged on May 25-26.
Anfield has recent rugby league experience having hosted England’s second Test win against New Zealand last week, and yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) announcement is the latest event announcement for the stadium.
In September, Liverpool was granted temporary planning permission to stage music concerts and other major events at Anfield for the next two years. Liverpool will be free to host up to six events per year, with the ruling set to come into effect from May.
Commenting on the Magic Weekend’s move to Anfield, Robert Elstone, Super League chief executive, said: “Anfield and Liverpool Football Club have embraced our sport – throughout all our discussions on the Magic Weekend, they made it very clear to us that they wanted that relationship to continue. The game should be proud that Anfield has become a rugby league venue.
“I would also like to thank Mayor Joe Anderson for his support for what will be a great weekend for Super League and the City of Liverpool. I had the privilege of working in the city for more than a decade and I know Super League fans will have a great time not only at Anfield but in one of our country’s most vibrant and exciting cities. The place is special – it’s a perfect fit for the celebratory atmosphere of Magic.”
Super League broke new ground in 2007 when the Magic Weekend was established, with a regular round of fixtures taken to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Since then it has also been staged at Murrayfield in Edinburgh, Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, and for the last four years St James’ Park.
During the four years at St James’ Park, the venue set the record for the three highest cumulative attendances and the largest single day attendance of 40,871. Elstone added: “They’ve created so many great memories for Super League and our fans, and have set the bar very high for Liverpool. Newcastle has inked its place into Super League history.”
Image: Catalans Dragons