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“Tragic not magic” – Fans fume at decision to host Magic Weekend at Elland Road

Magic Weekend is one of the best things to have happened to rugby league in the Super League era, something that was so good that even the NRL copied the concept, however the latest change has left fans concerned that the Magic is coming to an end.

For the 2024 season it’s been confirmed that Magic Weekend will take place in Leeds at Elland Road, as opposed to St James Park in Newcastle where it has been held since 2015.

Since it’s first event in 2015 the Toon has hosted the event seven times and has been a huge hit with Super League fans thanks to it’s central location to the city and impressive facilities.

With the calendar changing for the upcoming season as the Challenge Cup moves forward, Magic is therefore moved back meaning it can’t take place in it’s regular late May slot.

It’s now been pushed back all the way to August, thus conflicting with Newcastle United’s Premier League football campaign and forcing a change of venue.

Yesterday the RFL confirmed Elland Road to be the new home for Magic with games played on the weekend of the 17th and 18th of August, however fans have taken to social media to slam the new and changed event.

Many took issue with the fact that the event was to be hosted in a city with a Super League side, Magic having traditionally taken the game to new areas outside of the heartlands with the likes of Edinburgh, Cardiff and Liverpool all having hosted the weekend previously.

Instead now the game will take place less than 5 miles from Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley home, something that many opposition fans have disagreed with.

Posting on X, formerly Twitter, one fan reacted: “How embarrassing is Rugby League right now? Elland Road is not a ground suitable for MW, nothing around it and in a SL team’s city! Joke.”

Another added the sentiment that it was “tragic not magic”, before adding: “RIP Magic Weekend”.

The fixture split has also upset some fans with many speculating that Sunday’s slate featuring Leigh Leopards against Salford Red Devils, Catalans and Hull KR, as well as Huddersfield Giants versus Castleford Tigers, won’t engage a big audience.

One fan joked by posting an image of an empty stadium captioned ‘the crowd on the Sunday’, whilst another posted: “Think you’re gonna be sat there on your own then because nobody else is going. Out of all the places it could be held. Elland Road is the worst choice of the lot. Awful ground. Absolute waste of time having a magic weekend there.”

In turn the Saturday slate features the likes of champions Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves and Hull FC, as well as newly promoted London Broncos.

That puts the five teams with the highest average attendance in 2023 all together, something fans couldn’t understand.

One questioned: “Why are 5 of the best supported teams all playing on Saturday? I dread to think what the crowd on Sunday will be like? Either Wigan v Saints or Warrington v Leeds should have been on the Sunday.”

Another added: “Pointless event at a rubbish venue. Fixtures are dreadful and why have they been split with the 4 biggest clubs all on the same day? That Sunday is going to be incredibly empty…”

Many took aim at IMG who had previously advised for the event to be cancelled, something some now think will happen after this 2024 event.

“IMG achieving in months that the RFL have tried to do for years, destroying Rugby League,” one fan remarked.

Another had a conspiracy theory, suggesting: “The IMG helping create an absolute stinker of an event so they have an excuse to scrap it for good.”

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