NEWCASTLE Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes will lobby NRL officials next week to consider McDonald Jones Stadium as a future venue for Magic Round.
The NRL's inaugural Magic Round - in which all eight games are staged at the one location - is being held this weekend at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Suncorp has the hosting rights for the next two seasons, and an option for two seasons after that, at a reported cost of $2.5 million per annum to the Queensland state government.
Cr Nelmes was already scheduled to meet with NRL representatives next week to discuss the possibility of staging future events in Newcastle.
She told the Newcastle Herald she would take the opportunity to state a case for hosting Magic Round.
"There is no greater rugby league heartland than Newcastle and the Hunter," Cr Nelmes said.
"So this would be an ideal location.
"I could just imagine a weekend like that being exceptionally large in terms of visitor numbers, and relatively pain-free to pull off, because we've got the airport, transport links, accommodation and the skills in terms of managing big events.
"It's really just a case of convincing the NRL to come here from Brisbane the next time that comes up for grabs."
Cr Nelmes said Newcastle had shown it was capable of hosting world-class sporting events, pointing to the success of the annual V8 Supercars race, as well as recent visits by the Matildas, Kangaroos and NSW Waratahs.
"We can host big events and do it as well as any global city," she said.
"We have a really good internal events team in council that consistently pull together and work with the stakeholders, whether that be the NRL, Rugby Australia, Football Federation Australia, or whoever it might be.
"They pull together events of national significance.
"The Supercars was a very big exercise in logistics, particularly the first year, with all the construction going on and the event planning that was required.
"We've shown we can move big numbers [of people] in and out of the city very successfully, and really our stadium would be ideal for this type of event."
Suncorp Stadium has a capacity of 52,500 but is not expected to sell out for any of the four days of this week's footy festival.
McDonald Jones holds 30,000, according to its official website.
"We turn out great crowds here for all NRL matches here, when the Knights play, so imagine Magic Round," Cr Nelmes said.
Cr Nelmes was confident Newcastle had enough accommodation for an influx of more than 300 NRL players and support staff, as well as tourists.
"The constraint Newcastle did have, in terms of hosting big events, was accommodation," she said. "There weren't enough beds. But as we've shown with the Supercars, it's grown and there is more capacity for accommodation."
Cr Nelmes said "without question" council would need to liaise with the state government to raise the funding that would be required to secure Magic Round.
"But that has been a consistent model for other events, such as the 2016 Anzac Test when the Kangaroos played the Kiwis and then when the Matildas played Chile," she said.