Coventry have indicated an interest in hosting the First Utility Super League’s Magic Weekend in 2017.
The Rugby Football League has started the process of selecting a venue for the annual round of on-the-road fixtures, which has been held in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle since the concept began in 2007.
St James’ Park is a strong favourite to host the event for a third successive year after attracting a record aggregate crowd of 68,276 in May but the RFL say there is no shortage of competition, revealing that the Ricoh Arena, which will host a double header at the 2016 Four Nations Series, is among the contenders.
An independent study, commissioned by Super League and undertaken by Nielsen Company, Repucom, found that 44 per cent of those who attended the event in 2016 spent at least one night in a local hotel and helped generate a direct economic impact to the city of £8million.
A RFL spokesman said: “The opportunity to bid to host the 2017 event is open to any stadium across the country and a number of venues have already shown an interest in being part of the tender process.
“Venues such as St James’ Park in Newcastle and Four Nations venue Ricoh Arena in Coventry have already indicated an interest whilst stadiums which have held rugby league games in the past, including the Etihad Stadium, Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Ashton Gate in Bristol, Anfield, Murrayfield and Queen Elizabeth Stadium in London have all been suggested as possible destinations for the 2017 event.”