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“Get rid of the…” – Super League star calls for major Challenge Cup change

Huddersfield Giants outside-back Sam Halsall has given his opinion as to where the Challenge Cup final has been held.

Speaking on The Bench with Jenna and Jon, he gave his thoughts as part of the ‘On The Bench’ section of the podcast.

He said: “I would get rid of the Challenge Cup at Wembley.

“Obviously, we experienced in 2022 what it was like at Tottenham. It was unbelievable.”

Huddersfield Giants played Wigan Warriors in the 2022 final, the first away from Wembley since 2006, when the new stadium there was being built.

The attendance of the final hasn’t been above the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium’s capacity since 2017, with dwindling numbers ever since.

Many praised the newly-built arena in Tottenham, which put on an impressive show for the sport’s showpiece event.

Halsall’s comments come shortly after the venues for this year’s semi-finals were announced as being Doncaster’s Eco-Power Stadium and St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium, where Hull KR, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and Huddersfield Giants will clash for a place in the final at the national stadium.

In addition to the Challenge Cup, Halsall had ideas surrounding the venue for another of British rugby league’s big events.

He said: “I don’t think they should have put Magic Weekend at Elland Road either, and kept it up in Newcastle.”

Where should the Challenge Cup and Magic Weekend be held?

Challenge Cup final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, general view

Credit: Imago Images

The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is certainly up there with the best venues in the world right now, and its capacity much better matches the attendances we’ve been seeing than Wembley does, which has a sea of red seats dotted around the famous venue every year.

However, Wembley has held the Challenge Cup final since 1929, apart from years it hasn’t been available, and the Wembley Challenge Cup final has been a staple of the rugby league calendar.

It’s fair to say though, that times change, and it may , for now at least, be time to accept that Wembley isn’t the number one option – especially when the final isn’t seen as an important event to stadium’s owners, and when a special arena elsewhere in the city can put on such a great show.

Magic Weekend, meanwhile, has moved to Elland Road, Leeds this year.

It’s not a day out for many fans – the beauty of it being in Newcastle is that you really make a weekend of the trip.

Travelling from Lancashire to Yorkshire, or even Yorkshire to Yorkshire, isn’t the same.

Not only is it in the established rugby league heartlands, it’s also much smaller than stadiums it’s been at before.

Every weekend has seen attendances of over 50,000 in all, and day attendances of similar to its capacity.

Right now, the capacity is fine, but it doesn’t allow for much growth at all.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David Cochrane

    April 24, 2024 at 5:30 pm

    Talking about the Challenge cup at Wembley never full, Well let’s look at the Super league final at Old Trafford always full? The answer is Wembley is getting too expensive, where Old Trafford supporters don’t have to travel that far. Why does Rugby league need a magic weekend?

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