Keeper of the Plans

Paul McCartney to perform his first-ever Kansas show

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell perhaps put it best Tuesday morning.

“The British are coming, and this time it’s a good thing,” he said in the shadow of downtown’s Union Station, above which hung a Union Jack flag.

Legendary rocker Paul McCartney is coming to Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena in July.

It will be the first time the 74-year-old McCartney, who rose to popularity as a member of the Beatles and retained it during a decades-long solo career, has performed in Kansas.

McCartney’s One on One Tour is a nearly three-hour spectacle featuring his best works from the past 50 years – and it has come to both Americas, Europe and Asia. As a performer, McCartney has played at Buckingham Palace, the Coliseum in Rome, Moscow’s Red Square, the White House, and has even had a performance broadcast live into space. Now he can add Intrust Bank Arena to that list.

McCartney has won the Grammy Award 21 times and been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The show will be at 8 p.m. July 19.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday at www.selectaseat.com, by phone at 855-755-7328 and the arena box office, 500 E. Waterman.

Tickets will be sold for $31.50, $61.50, $101.50, $167 and $252.

American Express card members can purchase tickets from 10 a.m. Wednesday through 10 p.m. Sunday. If you have an American Express card, now may be the time to use it, because this show is expected to sell fast.

The arena piqued many Wichitans’ curiosity Monday, announcing a “major” news conference set for early Tuesday. The arena only puts on such conferences when top-name acts come into town – once to announce Van Halen (though that show was later canceled) and to announce Elton John and Billy Joel.

AJ Boleski, general manager of the arena, said at the news conference that the arena had been working on the deal “for several years.”

The announcement was peppered with a performance by a local drumline and speeches from local officials, including Longwell and Sedgwick County Commissioner Dave Unruh.

Speakers agreed the show was an important one, but Boleski went further, suggesting it may be the start of more higher-profile acts in Wichita.

“Anytime we can bring an act of this caliber to Wichita and see the community support it, it’s going to lead to another one,” Boleski said. “We’ve seen that happen in the past. The Foo Fighters kind of led to the Red Hot Chili Peppers; Fall Out Boy led to Twenty One Pilots.

“We should see that again with this.”

Matt Riedl: 316-268-6660, @RiedlMatt

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