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Mayor Ed Lee personally invited McCartney to close the Stick when the former Beatle played at the Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park last year.
The idea was to say goodbye to the ballpark where the Beatles played their final paid concert in 1966.
McCartney's reps and the city had been talking since Lee made the offer, and City Hall was convinced that the show was all but a done deal.
It all changed, however, when McCartney's envoys, including his worldwide concert promoter, Barrie Marshall, toured Candlestick last month and let slip that they had just visited Levi's Stadium as part of negotiations with the Niners for an opening concert there in early August.
It was a blindside hit that had city officials feeling betrayed.
Team execs insisted to San Francisco officials that they had been approached about hosting a McCartney show by Live Nation, the national promoter that has a financial stake in Sir Paul's management company.
Besides, the Niners said they had a fiduciary responsibility to their sponsors - including Levi's, which has a $220 million naming-rights deal at the stadium - to host a certain number of concerts a year.
"Classless" is how one San Francisco official greeted the Niners' play - which some see as the latest in a string of insults aimed at the city since owner John York announced in 2006 that the team was leaving town.
Sarah Ballard, spokeswoman for the city's Recreation and Park Department, which runs Candlestick, expressed disappointment at the prospect of losing the concert. But she steered clear of any name calling, noting that the decision on where to play was ultimately McCartney's.
Mayoral spokeswoman Christine Falvey said that regardless of how it all plays out, "the city is going to have a great farewell for Candlestick for the public." A representative for Live Nation said the company had no comment.
In a statement, the Niners said they book events on behalf of the Santa Clara Stadium Authority and "we continue to seek world-class sports and entertainment events that benefit the entire region."
Tonight's concert rescheduled
Meanwhile, McCartney has rescheduled tonight's concert in Chile. Due to a technical issue Paul McCartney is rescheduling the first night of a two night stint at the Movistar Arena in Chile. A plane carrying touring equipment failed to arrive in Santiago on time following a show in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Paul's Monday (21/4/14) concert will now be moved to Wednesday 23rd April.
“Though I'm upset that the jumbo jet carrying all my equipment for the show has gone technical and will not arrive in Santiago in time for the show tonight, I will not cancel the concert. I would hate to disappoint our great Chilean fans so we are moving the Monday show to Wednesday this week and looking forward to having a rocking time in Santiago.”