Newcastle - St James Park
Newcastle has hosted the Magic Weekend for the last three years with the top attendances all coming at St James’ Park. The weekend has proved to be a great occasion for rugby league fans. The stadium is right in the middle of Newcastle city centre which proves to be an enjoyable night out on the Saturday night. The distance to Newcastle is far enough to have a weekend away or just do the single day.
Manchester - Etihad Stadium
The Etihad Stadium has previously hosted from 2012-2014 with the average attendance being around 60,000 over the two days. Manchester has the benefit from being closer to the heartlands of rugby league and is the most easily accessible out of all the options.
Cardiff - Principality Stadium
The original host city could be an option for the RFL. Cardiff hosted Magic Weekend at the then named Millennium Stadium in 2007, 2008 and 2011. This option is very similar to Newcastle in that the stadium is perfect for pre and post-match atmosphere being located right in the middle of the city centre. The retractable roof also ensures that all games can be played in dry conditions and the atmosphere is electric.
London - Olympic Stadium
London could be a avenue that the RFL could explore. It would surely have to take place on the bank holiday due to the distance that would have to be travelled. The stadium has hosted internationals and in 2015 England hosted New Zealand in the Baskerville Shield test series with the attendance being a respectable 44,393 and then again against Australia in the Four Nations where the attendance was 35,569. A negative of the stadium is that you feel quite far away from the action and it could be difficult to build the festival atmosphere that Magic Weekend is famous for.
Coventry - Ricoh Arena
The Ricoh Arena hosted rugby league for the first time in 2016 in a Four Nations double header when over 20,000 people turned up on a very cold November night. The RFL see Coventry as an expansion area with Coventry Bears joining League One in 2015 with Wasps potentially setting up a Super League side. One downfall would be the stadium only holds 32,000 and this would be less with unreserved seating.
Warrington legend Ben Westwood caught up with JJB on his 400th appearance to talk about the time he made his debut and how he helped launch the career of Gareth Ellis a week later. Hear more from him on tonight's show.