The NRL won’t rule out another four-day Magic Round next year after solid Thursday night ratings and some rare positive feedback.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg was able to boast of the concept’s success on Monday after 134,677 people had watched eight games over the weekend at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.
A touch over 17,000 fans watched Thursday’s stand-alone game between Gold Coast and Cronulla.
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That was well below the average 33,669 across the weekend but well above the 10,059 average this year at Titans home games.
With Magic Round locked into Brisbane for the next two years, Greenberg said a four-day event – rather than Friday-to-Sunday – might be the norm.
“That’s something we’ll look at; we’ll talk to broadcast partners about the Thursday slot,” the CEO said.
“But it rated more than one million people, was a very big event on television, so we need to find ways to balance that out if we can.”
About 25 per cent of all ticketholders came from interstate, something Greenberg said spoke of the quality of the viewing experience at Suncorp Stadium.
But he said inevitably, and despite the addition of new features over the next two years in Brisbane, the initiative would be best shared.
“First time here, spectacular success …. but the short answer is the long term might be to move it to other markets (to keep it fresh),” he said.
The CEO spent an hour with ARL Commission chairman Peter Beattie, speaking to fans on Saturday outside the stadium.
“To get a chance to get down and dirty with the people who buy the tickets and they tell you how they feel, for me, that was the highlight,” he said.
He said cheap ticket prices – a Friday-Sunday ticket cost $75 to watch seven games – was the focal point of conversation.
“There was lots of thankyou’s for keeping the ticket prices low … it doesn’t happen often but it’s nice to get good feedback,” he said.
© AAP 2019