The Rugby Football League (RFL), the governing body for rugby league in England, has announced that Newcastle United’s St James’ Park stadium has retained the hosting rights for the 2018 Magic Weekend, an annual event when an entire round of top-tier Super League matches are played over a weekend at a single stadium.
The north-eastern city will stage the showpiece for the fourth consecutive year on 19th and 20th May 2018, when champions Leeds Rhinos will take on Castleford in a repeat of their 2017 Grand Final meeting as the last fixture on Saturday, before Hull KR and Hull FC rekindle their rivalry in the last game of the weekend.
This year’s edition of the event attracted the third highest attendance since its debut in 2007, with 65,407 fans descending on Tyneside over the two days.
Newcastle is one of four cities to host the Magic Weekend, along with the Welsh capital of Cardiff, Edinburgh in Scotland and Manchester, where the event was staged for three years running between 2012 and 2014.
“We are delighted to be bringing Magic Weekend back to Newcastle for a fourth year,” said Mark Foster, Super League’s general manager. “We had a number of other cities bid to host what is a fantastic event but Newcastle is a great venue for us - the city has made us feel incredibly welcome over the last three years and we know our fans love to come to Newcastle for the weekend.”