Sky Sports to show all six games from Magic Weekend, which will be held at St James’ Park on September 4 and 5; kick-off times to be confirmed; hopes of fans being able to attend following Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown
Super League has confirmed the fixtures for this year’s Magic Weekend in Newcastle, with all six matches to be once again shown live on Sky Sports.
The event will return to Newcastle’s St James’ Park in 2021 over the later dates of September 4 and 5, with the hope being as big a crowd as possible is able to attend on both days over the weekend.
Although the weekend has been slightly reformatted to allow for the inclusion of newly-promoted Leigh Centurions, the other 11 teams will play on the same days they were due to last year in acknowledgement of fans who have retained their tickets from the postponed 2020 event.
“Dacia Magic Weekend is an important part of the Betfred Super League calendar and it is great to have the event back in our plans for the upcoming 2021 season,” Super League chief commercial officer Rhodri Jones said.
“Following the Prime Minister’s latest update about the easing of lockdown restrictions, we are optimistic that we will be able to welcome fans into St James’ Park to enjoy the festival atmosphere that makes Dacia Magic Weekend so special.
“With the event falling later in the calendar this year, it could be all to play for in the closing stages of the season with teams chasing the League Leaders shield, play-off spots or looking to avoid relegation.
“I’d like to pay thanks to Dacia for their on-going support of this event as well as our event partners at Newcastle United, Newcastle City Council, Newcastle-Gateshead Initiative and NE1, and once again to Sky Sports for continuing to bring fans their excellent coverage of this unique event.”
Kick-off times are still to be confirmed, but this year’s Magic Weekend will start with Castleford Tigers taking on Challenge Cup winners Salford Red Devils on the Saturday.
That is followed by back-to-back Super League champions St Helens up against Catalans Dragons, with an all-Yorkshire clash between Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC rounding off day one.
Huddersfield Giants and Wakefield Trinity get day two underway, followed by Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves renewing their rivalry. The weekend comes to a close with newcomers Leigh, making their first Magic Weekend appearance since 2017, taking on Hull Kingston Rovers.
Newcastle City Council cabinet member for employment and culture Ged Bell expressed his delight Magic Weekend is coming back to St James’ Park, where it was previously held from 2015 to 2018.
But while organisers remain hopeful of being able to welcome as many supporters as possible, contingency plans are in place surrounding any regulations to combat the spread of Covid-19 which are still in force come September.
“The Prime Minister’s route out of lockdown means fans will once again return to stadiums in the coming months, meaning we can look forward to this excellent event with renewed optimism,” Cllr Bell said.
“It is important that we look ahead to this event and plan for any eventuality. The vaccine roll-out, localised test and trace systems and a greater understanding of the virus provide us a glimmer of hope that Magic Weekend can once again attract record crowds to St James’ Park.
“However, if any restrictions are still in place, we will work closely with the Super League, NE1 and businesses across the city to maximise on the opportunity in whatever way possible.”
Dacia Magic Weekend 2021 fixtures
Saturday, September 4: Castleford Tigers vs Salford Red Devils, St Helens vs Catalans Dragons, Leeds Rhinos vs Hull FC.
Sunday, September 5: Huddersfield Giants vs Wakefield Trinity, Wigan Warriors vs Warrington Wolves, Leigh Centurions vs Hull Kingston Rovers.