The Queensland Government and the ARL remain confident in selling close to 150,000 tickets for Magic Round this year, with the three-day fixture to be held in May at Suncorp Stadium.
The round was scrapped last season due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic but was touted as a major success following its inauguration in 2019.
Magic Round will consist of all 16 sides playing out a round of NRL at the same venue across the one weekend, with the fixture currently placed for Round 10 between May 14-16 in Brisbane.
While COVID-19 concerns ring in the minds of league and state heads, there are high hopes the league can pack in close to 50,000 fans per day across the weekend, filling Lang Park to capacity.
“[We will] be able to see, as we saw in 2019, more than 91,000 fans enjoy the Magic Round, I am sure we can top that this year and see more than 29,000 visitors come from interstate,” said Queensland’s Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, per abc.net.au.
“$22 million will be injected into the city’s economy, which will be very welcome to Brisbane’s visitor economy.”
ARL commissioner Kate Jones backed the league’s preparations against the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19.
“We are back, and back with an even stronger line-up and we want blockbuster crowds,” Jones said.
“The NRL has done a lot of work to ensure we are COVID safe and will continue to work with authorities to ensure we can have a full house for the long weekend.
“We wouldn’t have been able to do this without help from the Queensland Government and local government, and this shows the NRL continues to be innovative and do what other codes can’t deliver.”
Wests and Newcastle are scheduled to kick-off proceedings for Magic Round, with Manly and Brisbane adding to the Friday night double-header on May 14.
Friday, May 14
Tigers vs Knights – 6:00pm
Sea Eagles vs Broncos – 8:05pm
Saturday, May 15
Bulldogs vs Raiders – 3:00pm
Sharks vs Rabbitohs – 5:30pm
Roosters vs Cowboys – 7:45pm
Sunday, May 16
Warriors vs Eels – 1:50pm
Storm vs Dragons – 4:05pm
Titans vs Panthers – 6:25pm