Hatchet buried but Queensland want future Magic
The NRL wants Magic Round to remain in Brisbane for at least another three years after robbing Queensland of the chance to host a grand final.
The 2020 edition of Magic Round was launched in Brisbane on Tuesday and will return as a three-day event over the May long weekend next year, with tickets going on sale on Wednesday.
The inaugural Magic Round this year saw 134,677 fans attend eight matches at Suncorp Stadium over four days.
While the Magic Round was a success, the NRL's decision to play at least the next 27 grand finals in Sydney was a bitter blow for Queenslanders wanting to host the season finale while ANZ Stadium underwent renovations.
The NRL last month finalised a lucrative deal with the NSW government to keep its showpiece event in Sydney in return for $2 billion of stadia upgrades.
NRL boss Todd Greenberg said keeping the grand final in Sydney was a key part of securing huge venue improvements for the game.
"I'm on record saying the SCG is not the ideal venue to watch rugby league, but the NSW government put in just over $2 billion to build us three new stadiums," he said.
"Part of $2 billion is providing content.
"We start the year with All Stars here (at the Gold Coast), we bring Magic Round in the middle, and there could be an Origin decider at Suncorp.
"We've got some pretty good content (in Queensland)."
Queensland government minister Kate Jones played a key role in Suncorp Stadium's failed pursuit of grand final hosting rights.
Jones and Greenberg combined to launch Magic Round on Tuesday and said they had settled any differences.
"We've made up again," Jones said.
"Todd has said it and I've certainly said it, we made our position quite clear.
"We went in there strongly. We understood there was always a contract with NSW, but if there was an opening it should absolutely come to Queensland, not to Melbourne or Perth.
"In reality, we understand that. We've worked really hard to grow the content.
"We know the Magic Round injected more than $20 million into the local economy this year.
"We've worked really hard in 2020 to grow the event. We're expecting more fans to come."
The reduction in the event duration was prompted after a crowd of only 17,000 turned out to watch the Titans and Sharks open Magic Round on a Thursday night.
Next year's Magic Round will be held in Round 8 from May 1-3 and Greenberg said it would be bigger and better.
"As we look to improve these types of events, we thought three days made great sense," Greenberg said.
"It's a double-header Friday and triple-header for fans on Saturday and Sunday.
"For less than $100 you can see all eight games. It's fabulous value.
"It will be bigger next year and the precinct will come alive in a greater fashion.
"We learnt a lot last year. It was a great success last year and a bigger success next year. It will be a great part of our season."
The NRL has a four-year agreement with Suncorp Stadium to host Magic Round, however the second half of the contract includes options.