The 2017 Magic Weekend will return to Newcastle’s St James’ Park on May 20th and 21st for the third year running.
68,000 fans attended the Magic Weekend in 2016, the largest ever crowd in it’s 10 year history, and it’s hoped that they can increase this figure once again. £4.2 million was generated for the local economy, with the city welcoming Rugby League fans with open arms.
Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves will face each other in a rematch of the 2016 Super League Grand Final in the closing game on Saturday evening.
The two other Super League semi-finalists, Hull FC and St Helens, will face each other on Saturday afternoon at 4:45pm following the opening fixture of the weekend, Widnes Vikings v Wakefield Trinity which kicks off the round of Betfred Super League fixtures at 2:30pm.
Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield Giants will kick off the second day of the annual Rugby League extravaganza when they go head-to-head at 1pm. Leigh Centurions will get their first ever taste of a Dacia Magic Weekend as they take on the Salford Red Devils at 3:15pm before one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes of the Rugby League season, a Yorkshire derby between Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers, brings the curtain down on an action-packed weekend at 5:30pm.
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Announcing the decision to return to St James’ Park, Super League General Manager, Mark Foster, said: “We are delighted to be bringing the Dacia Magic Weekend back to Newcastle for the third successive year.
“The city has made us feel incredibly welcome and we know that our fans love visiting the North East not just to witness a whole round of the Betfred Super League but also to take in everything else that this wonderful city and surrounding area has to offer.”
It is estimated that the 2016 Dacia Magic Weekend was worth more than �£4m to the local economy in the North East and having broken the record for attendance at a Magic Weekend two years in a row it is expected that crowds will head to the city in large numbers once again.
Leader of Newcastle City Council, Councillor Nick Forbes, said: “I’m delighted by this hat trick for Newcastle. Hosting the Magic Weekend for the third year in a row is a chance to show the nation once again all that our vibrant city centre and warm Geordie welcome have to offer.
“Newcastle is gaining a stronger and stronger reputation for hosting major sporting and cultural events. This is all part of our plan to make Newcastle the Great North City, and we know that tournaments such as this attract visitors who want to come back time and again.
“The Magic Weekend is also brilliant for promoting grassroots sports and as in previous years there will be a lot of ways for fans of all ages and abilities to join in the celebrations.”
Sean Bullick, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd, co-city sponsors of Dacia Magic Weekend, said: “We’re delighted that the Dacia Magic Weekend is returning to Newcastle for the third year running. After hosting hugely successful events in 2015 and 2016, both of which saw record breaking attendance, this is great news for the city, the Super League and the fans.
“It is fantastic to see the city coming together to secure these high profile events for the city, especially in light of last week’s announcement on the Great North Expo. We can’t wait to welcome the Super League and Magic fans back to Newcastle.”
Saturday May 20th
2.30pm – Widnes Vikings v Wakefield Trinity
4.45pm – Hull FC v St Helens
7.00pm – Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves
Sunday May 21st
1.00pm – Catalans Dragons v Huddersfield Giants
3.15pm – Leigh Centurions v Salford Red Devils
5.30pm – Castleford Tigers v Leeds Rhinos