There were good games, close games, a few bludgers, controversy, and big crowd numbers that were able to be posted. To the bean counters at the Rugby Football League, it had everything you need to throw together a nice little press release that you can send out to the few media outlets that still care about the game.
Still, I’m wondering what Magic Weekend game the game of Rugby League in Great Britain over the weekend…
Sure it is great for different fans to mingle as they all watch each others clubs play. Some fans of smaller clubs would never normally get to see their teams playing in front of crowds that size, even if most of them didn’t care about what was happening on the field at the time.
I couldn’t help but get the feeling that this Rugby League event isolated to Etihad Stadium and that it would have no flow on effects what so ever to say, the Salford Red Devils for instance.
If we have playing this big event and investing so much in a weekend like this in Manchester, and we can’t at the very least turn that into a boost for the local Super League side that Manchester residence are supposed to call their own…..what are we holding Magic Weekend for?
Keep in mind, I’m talking about the closest Super League team to Etihad Stadium. I am asking about the effect in the immediate area in and around Manchester.
If Salford can get no benefit from Magic Weekend being played on its doorstep, what benefit could the game across Great Britain possibly see from Magic Weekend?
Now, I know what people will be saying. “Your’e always so negative about anything the RFL does League Freak? It was a good weekend of Rugby League action. Isn’t that enough?”.
No. No its not.
Forgive me if I see so much time, effort and money being invested into an event on the Rugby League calender that results in no benefit what so ever to the game. Surely with any event that Rugby League puts together, it has to be worth the effort!
If the local Super League club doesn’t get anything out of Magic Weekend, other Super League clubs can’t be getting anything either. That isn’t even to mention the rest of the game of Rugby League across Great Britain.
So why hold Magic Weekend if the game gets no benefit from the event?
When the game was taken to different markets, you could at least make a case that the Rugby Football League was trying to expand into new markets. If there wasn’t a local Super League club to get a benefit from the weekend, it at least got some attention for the game in a new market and hopefully the flow on effect was that Rugby League in the area had something to market itself off of and hopefully help it grow in some way.
Rugby League gets nothing at all out of holding Magic Weekend in Manchester. I’d even goes as far as to say that for all the Super League fans that turned up to games, at most a few dozen non Rugby League fans in Manchester even bothered to look into what Magic Weekend was all about.
If this even is going to continue, the game has to get something back from its investment. It has to have some sort of plan, some sort of goal, something that it can point to and say “We play Magic Weekend for this reason”.
Right now Magic Weekend seems to exist just to exist. If you ask me, that is not exactly the best way to run an event that Rugby League puts so much time, effort and money into every year.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com