Music legend Rod Stewart is to play a huge outdoor gig at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road stadium – in a move which promoters hope will attract other big-name stars to town.
The star – famed for such hits as Maggie May and We Are Sailing – will become the first artist ever to perform at Blackpool FC’s home when he arrives in the resort on Friday, June 20 next year.
It is hoped the spectacular gig will be a 25,000 sell out.
If it is a success it could open the town to a whole new market of top acts.
Peter Taylor, of concert promoters Cuffe & Taylor, who are behind the event, said: “This is huge news for Blackpool and we are really excited about it.
“As locals ourselves we are so proud to be making this happen, and making history too – the first ever gig at Bloomfield Road.
“We had a lot of offers from other football clubs but Bloomfield Road was the one we really wanted to do.
“It’s a great venue to have a concert. It is at the end of the motorway, there is plenty of car parking and lots of accommodation nearby.
“I think this will make other promoters look at the stadium and think about adding it to their touring list.
“With a 25,000 capacity venue, it could lead to some big name acts coming to the resort.”
Bloomfield Road is set to be completely transformed for the gig, with 10,000 seats on the covered pitch and the stage at the North Stand end.
There will be a further 15,000 tickets sold in the east, west and south stands.
Rod Stewart, 68, is one of the best-selling British artists of all time, releasing 27 studio albums and racking up 200 million sales.
He rose to fame in the late 60s and early 70s with The Jeff Beck Group and The Faces, before launching a solo career.
His latest album Time became his first UK number one in 34 years.
Stewart is also playing huge gigs next June at Brighton, Stoke and Falkirk football stadiums, as well as Somerset Cricket Club.
Fylde-based Cuffe & Taylor are promoting three of the shows on the five-date tour.
The Bloomfield gig will mark the 40th Anniversary of the last time Stewart played Blackpool – in December 1974 with The Faces.
He said: “‘A lot has happened for me since I last played these locations and I’m delighted to be coming back.
“It’s been a long time coming, but I’m looking to make my return something people will remember.
“It’s also going to be fantastic playing football stadiums and the atmosphere is going to rock.”
Taylor revealed Stewart’s management are particularly excited about the Blackpool gig. He added: “Rod sold out four shows in Glasgow earlier this year and Blackpool is known for its links to Glasgow so we and his management are confident it will prove very popular.
“This gig almost happened two years ago, but we just couldn’t bring the football club and the artist together at the same time.
“We’ve finally managed to make it work and we’re delighted because I think it really will be something special for the town of Blackpool.”
Blackpool FC chairman Karl Oyston also fuelled hopes the massive show could spark the start of a number of big names at Bloomfield.
He said: “Hopefully it will be the first of many concerts here. I want it to be seen as a venue that is suitable for these big gig events.
“Every football stadium lies dormant for most of its time. There is always a window after the football season, before pitch maintenance work starts, when we can utilise the stadium for the benefit of the town and the wider economy.
“We need to all work tirelessly to make sure we show Blackpool in a good light to the country and we want to do our bit to show the town in the best light we can.”
He added: “My wife dragged me along to see Bon Jovi at the City of Manchester Stadium and I was very impressed by the way it was organised and the fact such a good event could be held in a football stadium. It made me sit up and take notice of alternative uses for a ground and the benefits it could bring to the local economy.
“I think any event held in Blackpool that brings people in from outside the town to provide income and support employment in Blackpool has to be a good thing and I hope the residents of the town and local businesses make the most of it.”
Tickets go on sale on Friday at 10am priced from £55 and are available online at www.ticketline.co.uk or by phone 0844 888 9991.