Is there better to be had than the Etihad?

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring his sides opening goal during the Carling Cup, Quarter Final at The Emirates Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 29, 2011. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS. Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring his sides opening goal during the Carling Cup, Quarter Final at The Emirates Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 29, 2011. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS. Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
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I HAVE received one or two comments about the RFL’s decision to stage this year’s Magic Weekend at the Etihad Stadium, the home of Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City, during May.

Some are in favour of the move, while others feel it will hinder attempts to spread the sport outside its northern heartlands, which I thought was the main reason for having headed to Cardiff and Edinburgh in the past.

Both, I suppose, have a valid argument, but only time will tell who is right.

Cost-wise, it will be much cheaper for genuine RL fans to travel to Manchester, returning home after one set of matches without having to foot a larger-than-normal hotel bill, which more often than not goes with overnight stays at such past venues as the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, and Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium, where prices were inevitably hiked on that particularly weekend.

It will also save supporters money if they travel by coach or use their own cars and that is something which will no doubt have been taken into consideration in the present tough economic climate.

Having said that, the burning question is: Will a move to Manchester help or hinder the growth of Rugby League when the other oval ball game is in a vulnerable state and ripe to be plucked?

What do Reporter readers think?

n IT’S great to read about the RL’s ambitious and far-reaching plans for the 2013 World Cup, which will be staged in England, Wales, Ireland and France, and involving 14 teams.

Never will the sport have a better opportunity to promote itself on a global stage and, looking at the infrastructure already in place, I don’t see how it can fail.

Often in the past, the powers-that-be have been accused, rightly or wrongly, of not grasping the nettle when presented with such situations.

Now they have a chance to prove any doubters wrong.

n LOCAL businesses now have a chance to jump on the bandwagon so to speak, and take full advantage of the sponsorship deals on offer at Saints’ new Langtree Park Stadium.

They include match sponsorship, which is available from £135 based on 20 guests, and includes, among other things, a chance for businesses to promote themselves on the day, a three course hot meal and reserved car parking.

Anyone wanting further details on match-day sponsorship and other opportunities available is asked to contact the club sales team, telephone 01744 455 080.