Magic Weekend: Super League speaks to Newcastle United about date change

Hull FC fans at St James' Park
Super League took Magic to Newcastle for four years running between 2015 and 2018

Super League has asked Newcastle United about the possibility of moving their scheduled Magic Weekend event at St James' Park to a later date, in a bid to salvage the event for crowds.

The annual event, which was scrapped in 2020, is currently in the calendar for 29-30 May, post-Premier League season.

However, the league's start date has been pushed back because of Covid-19 and a season-format tweak is likely.

Finding a date will also depend on Newcastle's own football commitments.

No date has been set for the start of the 2021-22 Premier League season but it has routinely begun in August under normal circumstances.

Super League's chief commercial officer Rhodri Jones admitted the usual 27-game plan is "unrealistic" given the compressed time available to fulfil fixtures before October's World Cup, and 24 and 26-game scenarios are most likely.

Any decision about a change to the structure of the competition will require buy-in from the broadcaster Sky, which holds primary rights to show games.

"There's a lot of things to consider with Magic," said Jones. "It offers six games to the broadcaster and we have an element of commercial money that comes in from it.

"We're trying to understand the best deal we can put together, while putting that against public health concerns and the reality of how many people we're going to be able to get in there in Newcastle.

"We're in dialogue with Newcastle United and have asked them to consider moving it back in the calendar, at which point we'll have to make a more informed judgement."

Magic was set to return to Newcastle in 2020 after a year away at Liverpool's Anfield in 2019, the fifth time the stadium had hosted it.

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