WHAT IS the point of Super League’s Magic event?

It is a genuine question posed the week after this year’s unimaginative list of fixtures has been published for May’s Newcastle event.

Now when Magic was first hatched in 2007 there was potential in the concept – offering a degree of variety to fans, especially those who rarely get to see their own teams in the big arenas, and the possibility of promoting the 13-man code out of the heartlands.

At that time there were plenty of rugby league fans, with fond memories of “on the road” Challenge Cup Finals at Cardiff, happy to keep the Millennium Stadium on the circuit.

For it to really kick on more needed to be done to engage potential Welsh supporters – but that did not happen, so any evangelical purpose for Magic soon disappeared.

Instead the promotion is geared up to ensuring the club’s core support – ie, those who shell out for everything else rugby-related on a weekly basis – turns out.

Hawking Magic around the major cities – Edinburgh, Manchester and now Newcastle – with seemingly the only criteria of being venues in close proximity to good nightlife, is demeaning. It smacks of a rugby league travelling circus invading the stag night capital – made worse by the usual sight of blocks of empty seats.

Obviously, there are more than six months to go and the organisers may have big plans to really hammer the North East to get a good local turnout for the weekend.

I will be the first to put my hands up on May 31 if there are thousands of Geordies packed into St James Park giving rugby a try – but I am sceptical.

My big beef is not the travel required or the “stick a pin in the map” location, nor is it that the gates are nowhere near the aggregate of the individual six matches – it is the way the extra round of fixtures artificially distorts the league table.

It has hardly mattered in recent years with the joke of a top eight system in place that rendered the league position a mere starting grid.

But next year position will matter because the Super League splits after 23 rounds.

Who decides that the fixture programme is fair?

There is a possibility that the team finishing ninth could miss making the cut on account of having a tougher Magic round than the team finishing eighth.

For that reason alone the whole concept should be consigned to the dustheap.