The Beatles were the first rock act to perform at Shea Stadium in Flushing, NY on Aug. 15, 1965; the last act will be Long Island native Billy Joel. At a press conference this week, Joel announced that he would play a show at Shea on July 16, the day after baseball’s all-star game at Yankee Stadium across town.
This is the last year that the New York Mets will play at Shea; in April 2009, they will play next door at the new Citi Field. In addition to the historic concert at the stadium, 2008 held another first for Joel, a recent performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Joel could not confirm any additional shows at the stadium, saying that it all depends upon the field’s availability and how much wear and tear the production and fans would do to the sod. The concert is being promoted by Live Nation and longtime promoter Mitch Slater.
With his upcoming show at Shea, Joel becomes the first artist in music history to have played all four of New York City’s premier sporting venues: Shea Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Giants Stadium and Madison Square Garden, where, in April 2006, he broke the record for longest sequence of sold-out shows by a single artist (12).
“Shea Stadium is one of the most hallowed venues in rock & roll history, and it’s an honor to help throw Shea the ultimate concert farewell party,” said Joel in a statement. “As a sports fan and a music lover, I will always have a place for Shea Stadium in my heart. I thank the Mets for giving me and my fans a chance to rock Shea Stadium one last time for the ages.”
Tickets will sell for a face value of $49.50 and $95, according to Joel, and will initially go on sale on Feb. 16 on 507Tixx.com at 9 a.m.