Take the Magic Weekend abroad – Four potential destination’s for rugby league’s big event

There is talk that the Magic Weekend could be about to end under the guidance of IMG.

This weekend’s event could very well be the last of its kind but that is unconfirmed.

In the eyes of many, it does require something of a shot in the arm to spark it back to life.

In the past many have suggested that the concept be taken abroad to really make it a special occasion and to try and spark rugby league interest elsewhere.

So here are five venues we’d love to see the Magic Weekend.

The Nou Camp (Barcelona)

This is an obvious shout following the game between Catalans and Wigan at the venue back in 2019. That game saw over 31,000 people attend making it not only Catalans’ highest attended game but Super League’s most attended game outside of the Grand Final and the Magic Weekend. In a cultural hub like Barcelona which boasts a rich sporting history its reasonable to expect locals might be interested in the event. The location of Catalans could also help boost the attendance. Moreover, it could help expand the Dragons from a predominately French-supported side to one supported by both French and Spanish supporters given that the Catalans region does spread to Barcelona.

Le Parc des Princes (Paris)

Another venue that would benefit from the existence of Catalans, I can think of few more amazing cities than Paris to go and watch a weekend of rugby. It would be the perfect tourist event for all rugby league supporters as they get to see a frankly amazing city, some awe-inspiring sights and a weekend of scintillating rugby. Such a marketing tool could actually see people from England who don’t follow the game get involved as they long to see Paris whilst enjoying two days of top quality sport. Moreover, it again could help expand the fanbase of Catalans from beyond the south of France all the way to the capital. Furthermore, should we get the locals invested it might even lead to the resurgence of Pairs Saint Germain which can only benefit the sport in France and internationally. Capable of holding near enough 50,000 people, a visual spectacle and steeped in sporting history it would be a stadium befitting of the event. Meanwhile, it would grant the sport the opportunity to get one up on rugby union if we could topple the record attendance at the ground which was set by France v Wales.

Stadio Olimpico (Rome)

Another amazing location combining tourism with our great game, who doesn’t want to see Rome? The history of the place both sporting and beyond would make this special territory to bring Super League. Few cities encapsulate the gladiator-like nature of rugby league players in the same way Rome could meaning the marketing campaign would write itself. Italy feels like an untapped reservoir of rugby league potential. They’ve produced a few decent World Cup performances and even boasted some really talented players like the Minichiello brothers. Union has been a success there so why can’t league? If it went well perhaps Catalans could soon be joined by an Italian team. The home of the Italian Rugby Union team and capable of holding up to 70,000 people it’s more than capable of hosting this event.

Mile High Stadium (Denver)

Like the Nou Camp, this stadium has previously proven it can host a successful rugby league event as it did so in 2018 as England met New Zealand. Over 19,000 people attended the game that day many of whom were locals. On the back of that, perhaps we could boost the local intrigue in a Magic Weekend at the stadium whilst bringing along fans from all 12 Super League clubs. It can hold over 75,000 fans so there’s plenty of room to expand on that initial 19,000 people in attendance for the Denver test. With the NRL striving to expand into America, it would be awesome if Super League could do so first.