Super League in 'excellent health' says Ken Davy as Magic Weekend ticket sales boom

Super League are expecting a crowd of more than 60,000 in Newcastle for the Dacia Magic Weekend.

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 2:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 2:44 pm

All six Betfred Super League round 22 fixtures will be played at St James’s Park, including Leeds Rhinos against Hull and Castleford Tigers’ clash with Salford Red Devils on Saturday and a meeting between Wakefield Trinity and Huddersfield Giants the following day.

This year will be Magic’s fifth visit to Newcastle.

The previous best two-day attendance there was 68,276 in 2016 and the lowest 64,319 two years later.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Castleford Tigers fans at the 2018 Magic Weekend in Newcastle. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Super League head of marketing Rob Porteous​ said: “We are in a good place.

“I don’t think it will beat any of the records we’ve had up there previously, but we are on track to hit similar sales numbers.”

Porteous admitted the number of postponed fixtures over recent months have led to “a lot of uncertainty and hesitancy among fans”, but he insisted: “Clearly getting two full rounds over the weekend has been positive.

“We have been busy over the last couple of days on the back of that.”

Crowds have been lower than expected since fans were allowed back into stadiums in May, but Super League’s interim chairman Ken Davy reckons there is no need to panic.

“If you look at theatres and other events that have come back, with the possible exception of outdoor music concerts, there has been a sluggishness,” Davy told a media briefing today (Tuesday) .

“We are not unique from that point of view, but all the indications I am seeing are positive.

“Betfred Super League is in excellent health and there’s a lot of good things going on, not least the Dacia Magic Weekend.”

Davy confirmed talks over “realignment” between Super League and the RFL are continuing and the briefing was told Sky television viewing fixtures are the best for five years.

Super League will again be a 12-club competition next year, with promotion and relegation at the end of the current campaign.

A date for the start of the 2022 season is set to be announced before this year’s title decider.

The competition’s chief commercial officer Rhodri Jones said: “There’s a few little bits we need to finish off, but we’re not far off.

“We’ve got the structure there, there’s just some dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s we need to do.

“We are hopeful in time for Grand Final week we will be in a position to announce the calendar for next year.”

That is expected to include a return to the traditional two games over Easter weekend.

Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.