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Magic Weekend returns to St James’ Park

Super League’s Magic Weekend will return to Newcastle’s St James’ Park stadium in 2020 following a one-year absence.

The event, which sees each club from the rugby league competition play in the same stadium over the course of a weekend, was held in Newcastle for five years from 2014 to 2018 but moved to Liverpool’s Anfield stadium for its 2019 edition.

The Super League has announced today (Tuesday) that the Magic Weekend will return to St James’ Park, home of Premier League football club Newcastle United, next year on May 23-24.

The 2017 Magic Weekend in Newcastle saw the event post record attendances. The Magic Weekend has previously been held in Edinburgh and Cardiff and this year marked the first time it had been held at Anfield as Liverpool’s stadium looked to expand its sports offering.

Super League chief executive Robert Elstone said the decision to return to Newcastle was taken on the back of feedback from fans.

“Super League had a great time at Anfield,” he said. “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.”

Councillor Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment and culture at Newcastle City Council, said: “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.

“This year we have already hosted a historic England rugby union Test match, high-profile European Cup finals and a spectacular close to a leg of the Tour of Britain.”

Bell added: “The European Cup finals alone saw a boost of £25m (€28m/$31m) and hotel occupancy rate of 99 per cent throughout the weekend. I can’t wait to see rugby league action return to the historic St James’ Park in 2020 for what I am sure will be another record-breaking weekend for the event.”

Image: Super League