Paul McCartney may pass up a chance to play the last concert ever at Candlestick Park, to play the first concert ever at a new football stadium about 40 miles down the long and winding road, in Santa Clara, California. But San Francisco city officials are pleading with the 71-year-old Beatle to let it be.
The Candlestick Park concert, if it comes off as the city had planned, would be significant not only for the city of San Francisco but for Paul McCartney as well. On August 29, 1966, The Beatles played a concert at Candlestick Park.
Though The Beatles did not announce the fact publicly at the time, the group knew that the Candlestick Park performance would be the last time The Beatles ever performed live together — except for an impromptu free concert on the roof of their own Apple Corp. building in 1969.
But apparently for Paul McCartney, sentiment may not be enough motivation for him to bid farewell to Candlestick Park with a concert there. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee invited the Beatles bass player, who is almost certainly the most successful rock star in history, to play the final Candlestick show when McCartney played at a different Bay Area location last year. The city has been in talks with McCartney’s reps ever since.
But when Sir Paul’s concert promoter Barrie Marshall visited San Francisco last month for an inspection of the Candlestick facilities, he casually mentioned to Lee that the San Francisco 49ers — who are moving to the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara for the upcoming NFL season — had also approached Paul McCartney about playing the first concert event at the new stadium.
Opening stadiums seems be a habit for Paul McCartney. In 2009, when the New York Mets moved to their new baseball stadium, Citi Field, McCartney played the first concert — actually, first three concerts — at the new ballpark.
Candlestick Park opened in 1960 as home to baseball’s former New York Giants who has relocated to San Francisco in 1958. The Giants played there until moving to their new stadium, then called Pac Bell Park, in 2000. The 49ers played at Candlestick from 1971 until the end of the most recent NFL seasoon.
The 49ers struck a $220 million deal with the Levi’s denim manufacturing company to name the stadium. The deal requires that the 49ers stage a number of major rock concerts there every year, in addition to the team’s eight regular NFL home games.
So while the 49ers say they’re simply trying to live up to their contractual obligations, San Francisco officials are calling the team’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering “classless,” and saying they feel blindsided by Paul McCartney and his organization.