Magic Weekend attendance up as fans back Super League event’s future

Super League’s 2023 Magic Weekend attracted a crowd of 63,269 to Newcastle’s St James’ Park in what was the rugby league event’s highest overall crowd in five years.

The opening day figure of 36,943 was the fourth-highest single-day attendance since the event – which sees an entire six-game round of Super League matches played over a weekend at a single stadium – was launched in 2007. The second-day attendance of 26,326 ensured the biggest crowd since the concept returned to the home of Newcastle United FC in 2021.

A record 17,000 fans attended game one which saw Salford Red Devils face Hull KR.

The encouraging crowds for the 2023 event came in the wake of reports that this could be the last-ever Magic Weekend. Despite being popular with clubs and fans, it is believed the format could be revamped from next year under plans progressed by agency IMG, which has been tasked with reforming Super League.

Magic Weekend was first held in 2007, with the inaugural event at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium. Since then, Edinburgh’s Murrayfield, Manchester’s Etihad Stadium and Liverpool’s Anfield have also staged the event, with Newcastle playing host to eight of the last nine editions.

With 16 editions having been staged, five of the six best attended Magic Weekends have been held in Newcastle. The record aggregate attendance of 67,788 remains from 2015 when Newcastle hosted the event for the first time.