Music News & Reviews

Paul McCartney booked as first show for Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center

Paul McCartney to open Golden 1 Center

Sacramento Kings announce Paul McCartney to be the first show at Golden 1 Center.
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Sacramento Kings announce Paul McCartney to be the first show at Golden 1 Center.

A member of rock ’n’ roll royalty will inaugurate the upcoming home of the Sacramento Kings. Paul McCartney will perform at Golden 1 Center on Oct. 4, marking the first event at the $518.8 million sports arena and events center rising at Fifth and L streets.

The stop marks the first Sacramento show in 11 years for the former Beatle. The concert is part of McCartney’s “One On One” tour, a career-spanning show of Beatles tunes and beyond, which launched April 13 in Fresno.

“The opportunity to host Paul McCartney is not something we take lightly,” Kings President Chris Granger said in a Monday morning press conference. “This represents something that’s great not only for the Golden 1 Center, but for Sacramento.”

While McCartney will take the 17,500-seat venue for its first run, three concerts were announced previously for Golden 1 Center: Maroon 5 (Oct. 15), Jimmy Buffett (Oct. 20) and Latin rockers Mana (Nov. 9). Both the Maroon 5 and Buffett shows are nearly sold out.

But no concert announced thus far matches the magnitude of McCartney’s appearance. At 73, he remains among the iconic figures in pop and rock music, the lyricist and voice behind such classic songs as “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude.” McCartney’s star power is such that he’s sometimes called upon to open or close key events. In 2014, he performed at Candlestick Park as the stadium’s final show, which in 1966 was also the site of the Beatles last-ever ticketed concert. McCartney was also selected to close London’s 2012 Olympics.

According to the concert trade publication Pollstar, McCartney grossed more than $77 million in ticket revenues from just 23 shows in 2015. The average ticket price for McCartney’s concerts was $155.76, with an average gross of more than $4 million per concert.

Kings officials said the chance to inaugurate a new arena was part of the draw in booking McCartney, a process that started in February. To secure the deal, no leather couches will be allowed backstage, a common tour request from the performer who is outspoken about animal rights.

Unlike the other shows previously announced for Golden 1 Center, which are being promoted by Live Nation, the McCartney concert will be produced in-house by the Sacramento Kings organization.

“It’s more legwork on our end,” said James Rasmussen, director of arena programming for Golden 1 Center. “Usually, it’s the promoter who we’ll rent the building to, and they do all the promotion and (stage) construction. When it’s all in-house, you also take on all the risk. But this show was definitely appealing (to McCartney) because it’s not just coming to Sacramento, but opening a new arena.”

Also on the music end, Kings officials announced Monday that Golden 1 Center will pay homage to Tower Records, the iconic music retailer that was founded in Sacramento and ran from 1960 to 2006. A neon Tower Records sign that was in a Sacramento store will be restored and placed inside Golden 1 Center.

Though the Sacramento Kings organization is focused squarely on Golden 1 Center now that the NBA season is over, at least one more concert will be announced soon for Sleep Train Arena, the building formerly known as Arco Arena. The building will meanwhile host a concert by Selena Gomez on May 10 and a series of high school graduations. A circus from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is set for Sept. 15-18.

Tickets for McCartney’s Oct. 4 show go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday. American Express cardholders are eligible to purchase presale tickets from 10 a.m. Tuesday through 10 a.m. Thursday.

Ticket prices will range from $49.50 to $250, with a limit of four per person.

A sampling of the songs Sir Paul McCartney unleashed on sold-out Save Mart Center in the opening concert of his One on One tour Wednesday, April 13, 2016, courtesy of Bee staff at the show.

Paul McCartney leads audience members in a rendition of "Hey Jude" during his "One on One" tour at the Save Mart Center Wednesday night, April 13, 2016. We caught some folks rehearsing outside the arena before the concert and created this mash-up.