St James’ Park in Newcastle will host a full round of First Utility Super League fixtures next May when Rugby League’s unique six-match, two-day extravaganza takes place in the North East for the first time.
The event will see the sport’s elite players from the 12 Super League clubs showcase their skill and athleticism in six matches, 30-31 May.
Rugby League fans from around the country are expected to converge in their thousands on the city and region.
Magic Weekend has previously been staged in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester, but the Etihad Stadium, its home for the last three years, is unavailable next May and Super League General Manager Blake Solly believes Newcastle is the ideal venue for the 2015 event.
Newcastle is thought to have pipped Coventry to clinch the event. The event is likely to return to the Etihad in 2016.
“St James’ Park is one of Britain’s iconic sporting stadiums and Newcastle is a fantastic destination city that will provide the perfect backdrop to the First Utility Super League Magic Weekend,” said Solly.
“From all our engagement with Newcastle United, Newcastle City Council, NE1 and other agencies, it is clear that the region will welcome Rugby League fans with open arms and I have no doubts that Magic Weekend 2015 will be a huge success.”
Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd, said: “The economic impact of this will be significant, particularly for the hotels and restaurants, as well as the retailers. Similar events such as the 2012 Olympics and Great North Run have generated millions of pounds for the city.
“Large-scale events like this do a fantastic job of promoting Newcastle and the wider region. I’m sure visiting fans will have a fantastic time in the city and we hope this will be the best Magic Weekend so far.”
Paul Szomoru, Head of Business Tourism at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, told CN: “To host Magic Weekend is hugely exciting, not just for Newcastle United Football Club but for the whole destination.
“Magic Weekend is a real opportunity that we need to take full advantage of and we’re already shouting about how the conference and meetings industry can make the most of the games by bringing their event to NewcastleGateshead in 2015 and beyond.”
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