NRL Magic Round: What you need to know
Thousands of footy fans are heading to Brisbane for NRL Magic Round in May. Here is everything you need to know about the inaugural event, and what to do in the River City from May 9-12.
What is NRL Magic Round
It's the first time ever all fixtures will be played at the same venue over one weekend. All 16 teams will be in action at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium over four days of footy. Scroll down to see who's playing and when.
Are the crowds going to be big
In a word, yes. The Friday, Saturday and Sunday games are close to sell-outs, while there are $10 tickets going for the Thursday night match between the Titans and Sharks, which will act as a fundraiser for charity partners. For many of the players it will be the first time they've played in front of a capacity stadium - and there's none better than the best rugby league ground in the world, the 52,500-seat Suncorp.
Can I still get tickets?
Three-day and single day passes are still on sale. You could actually attend all four days of Magic Round for under $100. But get in quick if you want a seat at the Friday, Saturday or Sunday fixtures.
What's new in Brisbane
Brisbane is buzzing about Howard Smith Wharves.
It's become the city's hottest new dining destination, with modern Greek restaurant Greca, overwater bar Mr Percivals, Felons Brewing and its Fish 'n' Chippery, as well as ARC Dining and Wine Bar.
It's a seriously popular spot with locals and visitors, but make sure you book ahead.
Visit Brisbane has compiled a comprehensive list of the city's new bars, restaurants and cafes, which you can view here.
Make the most of Brisbane that weekend
Here are five very Brisbane things to do over the Magic Round weekend.
1. Take a Story Bridge Adventure Climb and get a cracking view of the Brisbane River and the CBD.
2. Experience the inner workings of the heritage XXXX Brewery, explore the story of beer, and gain an insight into the 135-year history of a Queensland icon. View how beer is made, from the raw ingredients through to the state-of-the-art packing hall, then learn how to pour the perfect beer and taste it like a brewer.
3. While it may seem like enemy territory for NSW Blues fans, Caxton St is a short walk from Suncorp Stadium and full of great bars, including Brewski, Gambaro's and the iconic Caxton St Hotel. Caxton St is the perfect place to meet pre and post game.
4. Feeling adventurous? Head into Fortitude Valley for live music and an eclectic mix of bars and restaurants.
5. Coffee. There's no better way to ensure you make the most of your three-day Magic Round pass. Here is a local's list of Brisbane's 10 best coffee shops.
What time do the games start?
Thursday 9th May: Precinct Opens: 5.30pm. Gates Open: 6.30pm. Kick-off: Gold Coast Titans v Cronulla Sharks 7.50pm
Friday 10th May: Precinct Opens: 4pm. Gates Open: 4.30pm. Kick-off: Wests Tigers v Penrith Panthers 6pm. Kick-off: Manly Sea Eagles v Brisbane Broncos 8.05pm
Saturday 11th May: Precinct Opens: 12.30pm. Gates Open: 1.30pm. Kick-off: Canterbury Bulldogs v Newcastle Knights 3pm. Kick-off: New Zealand Warriors v St George Dragons 5.30pm. Kick-off: Melbourne Storm v Parramatta Eels 7.35pm
Sunday 12th May: Precinct Opens: 11.30am. Gates Open: 12.30pm. Kick-off: Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders 2.00pm. Kick-off: South Sydney Rabbitohs v North Queensland Cowboys 4.05pm
Tell me about the Million Dollar Kick
On May 8, the Wednesday before Magic Round, 16 NRL 'Club Super Fans' will be kicking for $1 million in Brisbane's King George Square.
Be there from noon-2pm to witness the kicks and meet your favourite NRL stars. There will be signing and photo opportunities with a player from each NRL club.
Is there any entertainment at the footy?
Yep! It won't be Tina Turner, but the NRL recently announced an exciting list of Aussie bands performing over the four-day footy feast. ARC plays Thursday, Sheppard on Friday, and the Stafford Brothers and The Preatures on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
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