RFL official explains controversial Magic Weekend move to Elland Road

The 2024 Magic Weekend has been confirmed with the event set to be held at Leeds United’s Elland Road Stadium over the 17th to the 18th August.

The action will start on Saturday as Tony Smith’s Hull FC take on the newly promoted London Broncos. Then the biggest game of the weekend as the Champions take on the former Champions in the original derby as Wigan Warriors take on St Helens.

Saturday concludes with two more teams with Grand Final history between them as Warrington Wolves take on Leeds Rhinos who will likely have a strong following being within their own city.

Then on Sunday 18th August Challenge Cup winners Leigh Leopards get the action under way against Salford Red Devils before Catalans Dragons v Hull KR. The weekend concludes with Huddersfield Giants v Castleford Tigers.

Many have questioned the decision but Rhodri Jones, the Managing Director of RL Commercial, has explained the decision: “Magic Weekend is going to have a different feel in 2024, as a result of the return to a date later in the summer to move away from the Betfred Challenge Cup Final in June, and the non-availability of St James’ Park which has proved such a popular venue for the last three years.

“We are delighted to have agreed a deal with Leeds United FC to stage Magic Weekend at Elland Road, one of the biggest and best stadia in the north of England – and with a rich Rugby League history, having staged numerous big matches from the 1982 Challenge Cup Final replay to the World Cup semi final between Australia and New Zealand last year.

“The fixtures formula we have used for Magic since 2019, which involves seeding teams into three groups of four based on their 2023 performance, has produced an intriguing line-up of matches, and with all clubs offering special pricing for Magic as part of their season tickets package, we would encourage fans to move quickly when tickets go on sale in the coming weeks”.

Serious About Rugby League also understands that the change of ownership of Newcastle has played a role in all of this.

Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear said: “Over recent years we have held some fantastic events at Elland Road, with some of the biggest games in Rugby League including the World Cup semi-final in 2022, along with England men’s and women’s international football fixtures and Josh Warrington’s world title boxing fight.

“We are thrilled to be adding the 2024 Magic Weekend to that list, it is great for us as a club and will also bring economic benefits to the whole city of Leeds.

“Everyone knows what a special venue Elland Road is and we’re all looking forward to another great spectacle.”