Police play Shea Stadium
18 august 1983
"We'd like to thank the Beatles for lending us their stadium." Sting announced nearing the end of their explosive performance at Shea Stadium. This was the biggest rock concert at Shea Stadium since The Beatles first played there in 1965 and it marked the moment where the Police claimed The Beatles mantle and announced that they were the biggest band in the world.
With the help of the recently launched Ticket Master (allowing tickets to be sold over the phone), The Police sold out the 55 000 seats so quickly that they were forced to open up the playing field for the audience. This sold them another 15 000 tickets, which made 15 000 more than the Beatles.
Now with bigger sound systems and three huge video screens, the Police had technology and experience on their side and played an enthralling set. What the audience didn't know was that at this point Sting had already made his mind up that he was going to leave the band. "During the performance I thought, This is it, you can't do any better than this,'" Sting admitted later. "That's the point I decided to stop."