'Magic' event on track to break record, says League

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The Independent Online

Ticket sales for Super League's ambitious Magic Weekend in Edinburgh are running ahead of those for its predecessors in Cardiff, it was claimed in the city yesterday.

The League is staging all seven games in round 12 of the competition at Murrayfield over 2 and 3 May and its chief executive, Nigel Wood, is confident of defying the economic climate by beating last year's record of 63,000 at the Millennium Stadium. "Sales are ahead of this stage last year," Wood said. "We have done everything to encourage people to come, including half-price tickets for season-ticket holders. We can't control the economic situation but there are signs that it could work in our favour, with people coming to Edinburgh as an extra holiday, rather than going abroad."

The Scottish Rugby Union, which owns Murrayfield, has set itself a target of selling 10,000 tickets for each day to Scots. Its chief executive, Gordon McKie, remains adamant that the pitch will stand up to seven games over the two days, despite looking rather bare at its current stage of reseeding. "We are confident it will be ready for the weekend and stand up to the seven games," he said. There is no contingency plan for the sort of freak flooding that almost forced the postponement of the 2000 Challenge Cup final at the stadium.

The Welsh international winger Dave Halley has been recalled from his loan spell at Wakefield by the Bradford Bulls. Halley has scored four tries in five appearances during the Wildcats' excellent start to the season.

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