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Call for RL Championship Summer Bash to return to Blackpool
For many years since its inception, Rugby League Championship’s ‘Summer Bash’ was held at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road, however it returned from the Covid-19 enforced break at Headingley Stadium, home of Leeds Rhinos. While a little over 10,000 fans made the journey to the venue, this was well short of the 13,000 who regularly attended the event at Bloomfield Road. The LNER Community Stadium took the hosting rights for 2023 and rugby league fans were far from supportive of the change of venue. Indeed, around 7,000 attended the event and key factors here were the distance of the stadium from the city centre and the high cost of accommodation in the city.
Rugby League has now hinted that the event may be moved away from the historic minster city in 2024 and there are feelers out for a return to Blackpool, many feeling that the seaside resort had become the spiritual home of the Summer Bash.
Rugby league Commercial’s managing director, Rhodri Jones, said: “It was the first Summer Bash I have been to, the concept is right but clearly the fans didn’t warm to it and I think there is an element of location in that.
“The stadium at York is a fantastic facility but it didn’t warm the fans up to come. That’s the biggest piece of feedback from that.
“There is an outcry for Blackpool to return, but there hasn’t been the availability in the past two yers due to ownership and stadium.
“However, we have put some feelers out in terms of hosting it for next year.”
Blackpool’s popularity for the Summer Bash was down to several factors, not least the central location of the stadium and the relatively low cost and high availability of accommodation close to the venue.