The Magic Round has been locked in for Brisbane for the next two seasons after the NRL officially cancelled this year’s event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The marquee event had initially been contracted to the Queensland Government for 2019 and 2020, with an option to extend the deal into the following two years.
It has now been locked into Suncorp Stadium for 2021 and 2022, after the May 1-3 event this year was wiped out by the COVID-19 suspension.
“These are challenging times for our community and our game, but we had to take this action as there was simply no other option,” the NRL’s chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo said.
“We have always said we would continue but only as long as it was safe to do so for our players, staff and the wider Rugby League community.
“We appreciate this will be disappointing for many people, but the NRL can assure fans that Magic Round Brisbane will return in 2021, bigger and better than ever.”
Almost 135,000 fans attended the event last year, and that number was expected to be similar in 2020.
There has been a suggestion the round could be taken overseas in the future as a way to promote the sport.
The NSW Government has also previously indicated it would be keen to bring the event to Sydney at one of its newly upgraded stadiums.