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St James’ Park to host Magic Weekend next summer

Super League’s Magic Weekend will once again be held at Newcastle’s St James’ Park in 2022, it has been announced.

The home of Premier League football club Newcastle United staged this year’s Magic Weekend in September, which marked the first time since 2018 that the stadium had played host.

Magic Weekend is a valuable event commercially for Super League, with one round of fixtures played out at a single venue over a weekend. The 2022 event will take place on July 9-10 and will feature derby matches including Wigan Warriors vs St Helens and Hull FC vs Hull KR.

St James’ Park hosted the Magic Weekend from 2015 to 2018 before the Rugby Football League (RFL) opted to take the event to Liverpool’s Anfield stadium in 2019.

St James’ Park had been due to return as the host venue in 2020 but the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the stadium eventually able to play host in September this year. The decision to return to Newcastle was taken following feedback from fans.

Before Newcastle started hosting in 2015, the Magic Weekend was held in Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh.

Rhodri Jones, Super League’s chief commercial officer, said: “It was great to be back in Newcastle in 2021, and even more so with fans back in the stadium. We are delighted to be returning to St James’ Park in 2022 and I must thank the football club, Newcastle City Council and NE1 for showing us so much support. I look forward to seeing the stadium, fan zone and city brimming with Rugby League fans again next year.”

Councillor Ged Bell, cabinet member for development, transport and neighbourhoods at Newcastle City Council, added: “Magic Weekend has firmly cemented itself as one of the highlights of Newcastle’s sporting calendar and I’m delighted that this festival of rugby league is returning to Newcastle in 2022.

“It’s always brilliant to see fans from around the country assemble in Newcastle for an incredibly vibrant and enjoyable weekend. They pack the stands of St James’ Park and provide a bumper weekend of trade to the bars, restaurants, hotels and shops in Newcastle and the wider region.

“With this taking place alongside the rearranged Rugby League World Cup which kicks off in Newcastle next year, our relationship with this great sport is set to go from strength to strength in 2022.”

Image: Joe89316