Thursday, October 13, 2005


It's the only thing covering the Liverpool Echo's arse as it almost announces that Paul McCartney is going to open the new Kings Dock arena. They stick on a question mark, because they know there isn't anything to it other than councillors drawing up a wish list and - of course - dropping a couple of names:

Cllr Mike Storey, leader of Liverpool council, said: "We are planning a huge event for the launch, and who would be better than Paul McCartney?

"The idea of Sir Paul and friends playing the first-ever concert at the new arena is simply fantastic.

"Knowing Sir Paul, I am sure he would want to be part of such an important event in his home city."

If you know him so well, Mikey, why not ring him up and ask if he'll play rather than issuing forth a speculative statement?

Kings' chief executive Bob Prattey said: "Promoters welcome the new venue because by linking it with Liverpool's great musical and sporting heritage, they have a winning formula.

"They also know there is great potential support from the public, because people here enjoy going to big events - it is part of our culture..

"The success of the Summer Pops helps, because it has attracted headliners like Diana Ross and demonstrated that we can sell tickets for big acts."

The Summer Pops has recently - successfully - chalked up its millionth pound of debt for the people of Liverpool, and some of the less-star-struck councillors are calling for an investigation into just how much money it took to attract Diana Ross to play the Summer Pops.

That they're having to fall back on talking about one of the more, awkward, shall we say, gamblings of council tax money to try and talk up the venue suggests they're starting to have mild panic at what they're going to do with the venue when it's finished. The original plan had been for the site to provide a home for Everton FC; the deal fell through and the plans had to be scaled down considerably. But with far fewer seats than originally planned - less than 10,000 and half the size of Manchester's MEN Arena - and no regular Premiership matches to help with the finances, it's not obvious what the King's Dock is going to do. And Bob Prattey doesn't seem too clear, either:

Mr Prattey added: "We have been in discussions with UK sports bodies to ask them about coming to Liverpool.

"Televised sport in particular would raise the profile of the arena and Liverpool as a city."

But surely that's not the argument they're making to the "UK sports bodies", that they can build the profile of Liverpool - as Tony Hayers once asked Alan Partridge, 'why would they want to do that?' More to the point, why would hosting a sports event attracting a few thousand people do more to raise Liverpool's profile than having two internationally-famous football teams?

Let's hope Macca does decide to help them out. It'd be nice for him to play such an intimate gig once in a while.

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