RL Commercial Director explains Elland Road Magic Weekend switch: ‘One of the biggest and best stadia in the north of England’

Ben Olawumi
Elland Road

Elland Road, the venue for the 2024 instalment of Super League's Magic Weekend - Alamy

RL Commercial Director Rhodri Jones has hailed Elland Road as ‘one of the biggest and best stadia in the north of England’ after it was confirmed as the new host venue for Magic Weekend.

Ahead of Thursday’s full fixture release day, the six Magic Weekend fixtures for 2024 were released this afternoon along with the days of each game.

Exact timings of kick-offs are still to be confirmed by Super League and broadcast partner Sky Sports, but we now know that the headline act comes bang in the middle of day one with reigning champions Wigan Warriors facing bitter rivals St Helens.

The event will take place over the weekend of August 17 & 18 in 2024, with the biggest news a change in venue to the home of Leeds United.

37,792-capacity Elland Road will become the sixth different venue to host a ‘Magic’, and the first new one since 2019 when Liverpool FC’s home – Anfield – took centre stage.

The 2020 instalment was cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, with each of the three years since then taking place back at St James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United, which first played host in 2015.

Starting in 2007, Millennium Stadium (Cardiff), Murrayfield (Edinburgh) and Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium are the other three to have hosted a Magic Weekend so far.

RL Commercial Director Rhodri Jones explains Magic Weekend venue switch as he lauds Elland Road

With the news of the venue switch first leaked this morning, the general consensus on the decision so far has not been a positive one, with many left questioning the choice of Elland Road.

Nonetheless, RL Commercial chief Jones in today’s official press release insists the Lilywhites’ home ground will be the place to be come August for all supporters.

He said: “Magic Weekend is going to have a different feel in 2024, as a result of the return to a date later in the summer to move away from the Challenge Cup Final in June, and the non-availability of St James’ Park which has proved such a popular venue for the last three years.

“We are delighted to have agreed a deal with Leeds United FC to stage Magic Weekend at Elland Road, one of the biggest and best stadia in the north of England – and with a rich Rugby League history, having staged numerous big matches from the 1982 Challenge Cup Final replay to the World Cup semi final between Australia and New Zealand last year.

“The fixtures formula we have used for Magic since 2019, which involves seeding teams into three groups of four based on their 2023 performance, has produced an intriguing line-up of matches, and with all clubs offering special pricing for Magic as part of their season tickets package, we would encourage fans to move quickly when tickets go on sale in the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile, Leeds United chief Angus Kinnear added: “Over recent years we have held some fantastic events at Elland Road, with some of the biggest games in Rugby League including the World Cup semi-final in 2022, along with England men’s and women’s international football fixtures and Josh Warrington’s world title boxing fight.

“We are thrilled to be adding the 2024 Magic Weekend to that list, it is great for us as a club and will also bring economic benefits to the whole city of Leeds. Everyone knows what a special venue Elland Road is and we’re all looking forward to another great spectacle.”

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