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How much is too much for Paul McCartney tickets?

UPDATED: Tue., March 8, 2022

Tickets for the upcoming Paul McCartney concert in Spokane have soared in price. Some fans are paying thousands of dollars to see McCartney play. In this picture, he is shown performing in 2017.  (Associated Press)
Tickets for the upcoming Paul McCartney concert in Spokane have soared in price. Some fans are paying thousands of dollars to see McCartney play. In this picture, he is shown performing in 2017. (Associated Press)

It’s been a decade since Paul McCartney played the Beatles classic “You Never Give Me Your Money.” However, the rock icon just might want to dust off the beloved tune when he kicks off his Got Back tour April 28 at the sold-out Spokane Arena since it’s more resonant now than ever.

Tickets, particularly on the secondary market, are costly. The asking price for a ticket three rows from the stage is $9,999 on StubHub. The cheapest seat on Stubhub is $320 plus a service charge of $89.70, for a grand total of $409.70. That’s to sit in section 218.

How much is a music fan willing to spend to catch a Beatle? Who is about to turn 80 in June? Who could be on his final tour?

“That’s a good question,” Bill Kemp said from his home in Corvallis, Montana. “My wife and I were able to secure tickets (on TicketsWest), but we looked at the map, and the two tickets were $650, and the seats were a long way away (from the stage). We secured two other tickets on the floor, but they were over $1,000 for the pair. We like Paul McCartney and the Beatles, but we just couldn’t justify spending that much money on anyone.”

4000 Holes Record Store owner Bob Gallagher feels differently. He will have to sell quite a bit of vinyl to make up for what he dropped to see McCartney.

“I paid more for this concert than I paid for any ticket in my life,” Gallagher said. “I paid $2,200 for four tickets in section 202 on the secondary market since I couldn’t find three seats in a row when I was looking for tickets (on TicketsWest).”

Gallagher, 69, said he doesn’t have a trace of buyer’s remorse.

“This is the biggest artist of all time, and he’s coming down to our place,” Gallagher said. “This is the big show of the tour. It’s the opener, and we here in Spokane are going to see it. Whatever he opens up with is what we’ll experience before the world does.”

Gallagher has no problem dropping the money. “I don’t think this is a lot of money,” Gallagher said. “There was someone who stopped in my store, and she said she paid $3,000 for a ticket close to the stage. I get it. I’ve spent so much on the Beatles in my life. I love the Beatles. They’ve always given me so much in return. Paul McCartney is the greatest musician of our time. He changed our lives.”

This will be Gallagher’s fourth McCartney concert after catching the legendary vocalist-bassist in Seattle at the Kingdome in 1989, at the Tacoma Dome in 1992 and at a three-hour summertime outdoor concert at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula in 2014.

“The way I look at it, if I had to travel again to see Paul McCartney, I would have to pay for a hotel, restaurants and gas, so in a way I’m saving money by Paul coming to our town,” Gallagher said. “I couldn’t resist seeing Paul right here.”

The same goes for James Dodds.

“I was getting skunked on TicketsWest, and then I noticed there was a silver package for McCartney. I bought the tickets for around $500 (each). I swallowed hard, and it hurt for five to eight minutes.”

After that, said Dodds, he felt fine.

“After I looked at the setlist from his last show (at Dodger Stadium in July 2019), I couldn’t help but buy the tickets,” said Dodds, 68, who lives in Medical Lake. “I was around when the Beatles broke big, and for McCartney to play this little arena, how could I say no? My son Austin (who is 36) and I will make the trip, and we’ll have no regrets.”

Terry Sullivan, 66, a South Hill real estate developer, hoped to catch McCartney but instead opted to travel to Las Vegas to watch Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference basketball tournament.

“It’s a shame that greed gives people my age no opportunity to see one of the greatest icons of the ‘60s,” Sullivan said. “I can go to Las Vegas to see the WCC tournament for $651 a ticket and see 10 games, men and women’s games, for basically the same amount of money I’d be spending to see McCartney. The reality is my wife and I could spend the night at Northern Quest and go to some restaurants for $500. It’s just not worth it to spend that kind of money on McCartney.”

Gallagher disagreed.

“You can’t put a price or compare another experience to Paul McCartney coming to Spokane,” Gallagher said. “The town just won’t be the same after Paul performs here. It’s going to be special. He’s mostly playing stadiums. Our arena is the smallest on a tour of mostly stadiums. Seeing Paul at the Spokane Arena will be like seeing him at a big club. For years, the people who went to the show will say ‘I was there when Paul came to town.’

“I guarantee you no one will regret what they paid to see Paul McCartney. How many times does Paul McCartney come to Spokane? Most likely once, and I’ll be there, and I’m happy to pay for the experience.”

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