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Paul McCartney to perform at Rio Tinto Stadium

Paul McCartney — a music icon for almost five decades — is about to perform in Utah for the first time. And at the state's newest major venue.

The former Beatle will bring his "Up and Coming" tour to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Tuesday, July 13.

"We're pretty thrilled with the developments," said John Urban, executive vice president of events and new business for SCP Worldwide LLC, which co-owns Real Salt Lake and Rio Tinto Stadium. "Obviously, this kind of a concert is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

McCartney will be the second former Beatle to perform in Utah — Ringo Starr has played here a couple of times.

SCP Worldwide has been working on nailing down the concert for several months. McCartney, who turns 68 in June, kicked off his current tour in March. And he's looking to schedule dates in areas and venues he either has not visited before or hasn't been to in some time.

And he's never brought his act to Utah.

"We've been working with Paul's management team in the U.K. and (concert promoter) AEG," Urban said. "This is a really special opportunity to play outdoors in a market he's not been to before."

Understandably, a lot of venues around the country and in Utah were interested in booking McCartney — knighted as Sir Paul by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997.

"It's a pretty big process to put this together. Obviously, there are a number of folks who are raising their hands across the country," Urban said. "Our job was to let them know why Salt Lake, and specifically Rio Tinto Stadium, should be included in a finite number of dates. We were selling Salt Lake, the stadium, the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind event.

"So, you try to raise your hand as high as you can. That's really what this is about. To say that a Paul McCartney show on this stage is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is an absolutely accurate statement. With all due respect to all the other acts at all the other venues, we think this is far and away the show of the summer here in Utah."

Final details are still being nailed down, but tickets will range in price from $49.50 to about $250. And there will be three windows for ticket sales:

An American Express Early On-Sale, an online window (from Thursday at 10 a.m.-Sunday 10 p.m. MT) exclusively for AMEX card holders at americanexpress.com.

An early window for Real Salt Lake season-ticket holders on Saturday and Sunday (with details forthcoming).

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday at 10 a.m. through either www.RioTintoStadium.com or (888) 477-5849.

RSL president Bill Manning echoed the belief that this is a unique opportunity.

"He's never been here before, and you don't know if he'll ever be back," he said. "I'm really excited. I think it's going to be a sold-out show."

Rio Tinto seats 25,000 for concerts.

And he believes it goes a long way toward validating the stadium as a concert destination.

"It really puts away all doubts about our ability to bring in high-profile talent," Manning said.

e-mail: pierce@desnews.com