All you need is love - and a big wad of cash
Paul McCartney's concert in Tel Aviv next month will cost its sponsors NIS 30 million - which they hope to recoup via ticket sales, with prices ranging from NIS 460-500 for standing room to NIS 1,400-1,600 for seats near the stage.
By comparison, the most expensive tickets for Roger Waters of Pink Floyd two years ago cost NIS 400.
Tickets will go on sale Tuesday at midnight via the Internet site leaan.co.il.
Of the NIS 30 million, about half will go directly to the singer and his agents. The remainder will pay for the former Beatle's back-up; airline tickets, hotels and food for him and his entourage; constructing the stage and setting up the lighting and sound systems; and security.
The up-front costs will borne by businessman Yakir Sha'ashua, 37, who stepped in after cell phone operator Partner backed out of financing the event. Sha'ashua owns an aviation company specializing in private jet and helicopter services for VIPs, as well as a real estate company active in Britain, the United States and Russia.
Partner had originally pledged only NIS 10 million - NIS 5 million for production costs and an identical sum for marketing. Sha'ashua, however, agreed to cover the entire NIS 30 million. That enabled a final contract with McCartney's agents to be signed last Friday, following five months of negotiations.
This will be by far the most complex production ever undertaken by Israeli impresarios. Asked why Sha'ashua decided to invest so much in such a risky venture, a friend quoted him as saying: "I've received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make history. I wanted to see McCartney in Israel, and [the Israeli impresarios] sold me the most expensive ticket I've ever bought."
However, his associates added, he expects to earn some $1 million if all 50,000 tickets are sold, which the organizers believe they will be.