Reports this morning have emerged which suggest the Rugby Football League are set to move the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup final forwards after falling attendances in recent years.
While any change wouldn’t happen until 2020 due to it being too late to change the date for next season, it comes just days after the final between Catalans and Warrington drew 50,672, the lowest in decades. As a result, the sport’s governing body in this country is in talks with organisers to move the final forward by two months.
In recent years, the final has been hit with travel chaos as the bank holiday date often collides with railway closures and maintenance work. Fears that the final is being neglected – perhaps due to the close timing to the Super League Grand Final – have concerned officials, especially as there is an agreement to hold the final at Wembley until 2027.
While talks are at an early stage, it has been suggested that the final could be moved to June with all matches played in the spring and early summer before the showpiece event.