MERSEY Magic…has a ring to it, doesn’t it?

Rugby league’s annual summer festival – held in the spring – has its fifth host city as Liverpool takes the baton from Newcastle.

With Anfield just a short hop down the M62 from Warrington, The Wire are aiming to have a record number of fans cheering them on as they take on Wigan Warriors.

But is the home of Liverpool FC the right place? Should it have stayed in the north east? Should we even have a Magic Weekend at all?

Anfield will host next year's Magic Weekend

Plenty campaigned for a return to Newcastle, but attendances at St James’ Park have been falling for the past couple of seasons. Going back, in my opinion, would increase the risk of the concept going a bit stale.

There are certainly supporters of the argument that Super League’s new structure was a chance to do away with the concept altogether, rather than shoehorning it into a lop-sided schedule.

It is here to stay, though, for this year at least, so why Liverpool?

On the face of it, I can certainly see the appeal.

A big city that is not exactly steeped in rugby league history, but a crowd of over 40,000 for an Australia v New Zealand clash two years ago showed it to have potential.

Anfield embraced England’s second Test against New Zealand a couple of weeks ago with a rocking atmosphere that belied the half-full status of the stadium. Perhaps hosting a weekend of action was seen as the next logical step?

Anyone who has been to Liverpool knows there is a lot of fun to be had there, but that brings me onto why it may not exactly be the ideal choice.

While there is plenty to see and do in the city, it is a fair way out from Anfield – and we are talking a good couple of miles’ walk.

St James' Park was popular with fans due to its city centre location. Picture by Mike Boden

There is a permanent fan zone at the stadium that will be a well-oiled machine when it comes to dealing with large crowds, unlike the temporary area that was set up outside St James’ Park when Super League rolled into town.

However, in terms of things to do around Anfield, that is about it.

Once you get inside the stadium everything is neat and tidy as you’d expect, but there is a fundamental issue.

Having watched football there, I can tell you that the seats are packed in extremely tight with not a great deal of leg room. Being in position for six games over two days there would be pretty uncomfortable.

Then there are logistical hurdles to clear, such as the Liverpool Marathon being scheduled for the Sunday of Magic Weekend with a route that takes runners right around the stadium. How will that work?

From a Warrington perspective, Magic Weekend also clashes with Neighbourhood Weekender at Victoria Park.

That will not affect everyone, of course, but there will be a big number with a decision to make.

For all I know, there may be plans in place to combat all of this and that everything is under control.

I do hope it is and that Liverpool makes a success of being the host, but it is easy to forsee teething problems.