Summer Bash won’t be at Blackpool in 2022

James Gordon

The RFL has confirmed that the Championship’s Summer Bash in 2022 will not be at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road.

Although no reason has been given, the scheduled weekend clashes with the early start of the Football League season.

The EFL is due to get underway on July 30/31, the same weekend as the Summer Bash, to accommodate the World Cup in Qatar.

All games at the Summer Bash will be shown exclusively live on Premier Sports.

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All the RFL have said publicly for now is that full details of the Summer Bash fixtures and venue will be revealed soon.

It may tie in with a possible return to a neutral venue for the Championship Grand Final.

The Grand Final has been played at the home ground of the top seeded team in recent years.

Previously it has been hosted at Headingley, Leigh Sports Village, Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington and Halton Stadium in Widnes as a neutral venue.

The Summer Bash has always been played at Blackpool, where it has been staged five times from 2015 to 2019.

There was no Summer Bash in 2020 due to the early curtailment of the season due to COVID, and the ongoing pandemic restrictions meant it wasn’t scheduled in 2021 either.

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There has been little speculation as yet as to a new venue.

Headingley has emerged as an early favourite, while some fans have suggested that a Midlands venue – maybe Coventry’s Ricoh Arena – would be a good move.

The highest single day attendance at Blackpool was 11,557 in 2017, while the lowest was 3,928 in 2018.

The aggregate attendance over the weekend has been around 15,000, the highest total across the two days being 16,444 in 2017.

The capacity at the Bloomfield Road ground is 16,616.