ENJOY it while it lasts, rugby league fans, because it looks like we are seeing the end of Magic Weekend.

To many, a move to Elland Road has been interpreted as the concept getting something of an undignified coup de grace.

Whether that turns out to be the case remains to be seen, but it is easy to see why so many think that is the direction of travel.

It’s only fair to look at the positives first – Elland Road is a venue steeped in rugby league history (ask any Warrington Wolves fan over the age of 40 about that) and is a central location for the vast majority of clubs.

And with the smaller capacity of 38,000, there is more of a chance of the place looking and feeling more populated than the bigger venues have done.

For so many reasons, however, staging Magic Weekend in Leeds flies in the face of everything the concept is supposed to be about.

First of all, it effectively hands home advantage to Leeds Rhinos, whom The Wire face in the final Saturday game.

While it remains the case for the vast majority of matches, Elland Road is not a true neutral venue for all.

In terms of simple logistics as well, there are issues.

While access from the M62 is incredibly simple, the ground is 2.5 miles outside of Leeds city centre, meaning fans arriving by train – which many do – face a taxi ride or a lengthy walk from the pubs and bars.

Many won’t see that as much of an issue but I think it’s fair to say the majority of supporters treat Magic Weekend as an event, a day or weekend away.

As such, having the local amenities within a stone’s throw is what made city centre locations like Cardiff and in particular Newcastle so popular with fans, and out-of-town grounds like Anfield less so.

On that front, although St James’ Park became “the norm” to an extent, Magic Weekend has been about taking fans and the game in general to different places, cities rugby league has barely touched.

What is different about a trip most supporters make at least once – in many cases twice – a year? Where is the magic?

Of course, there are mitigating factors at play – with the Challenge Cup Final taking place in early June next year, there is an understandable desire to keep the game’s big events far enough apart.

That takes the out-of-football season late-May date off the table, making availability at the bigger grounds a lot trickier. In that respect, Leeds United deserve credit and thanks for allowing six games to be played on their presumably newly-fettled pitch over the same weekend so early in their season.

Nevertheless, one cannot help but feel a concept that has been loved by players, fans and broadcasters but clearly not by the game’s new partners IMG is being given a slow, dragged-out death.