SIR Paul McCartney is being lined up to open Liverpool's Kings Dock arena.
City leaders want the Beatles legend to be the first act to play at the £146m waterfront complex when it opens in just over two years time.
They believe Sir Paul, who has been in the music business for over 40 years, would be the perfect star to launch the 9,500-seater venue.
The 63-year-old was recently back in the charts with his new album Chaos And Creation In The Back Yard.
Cllr Mike Storey, leader of Liverpool council, said: "We are planning a huge event for the launch, and who would be better than Paul McCartney?
"The idea of Sir Paul and friends playing the first-ever concert at the new arena is simply fantastic.
"Knowing Sir Paul, I am sure he would want to be part of such an important event in his home city."
Construction work only started at Kings Dock yesterday - but arena bosses are already in talks with concert promoters to line up a string of big names for 2008.
Kings' chief executive Bob Prattey said: "Promoters welcome the new venue because by linking it with Liverpool's great musical and sporting heritage, they have a winning formula.
"They also know there is great potential support from the public, because people here enjoy going to big events - it is part of our culture..
"The success of the Summer Pops helps, because it has attracted headliners like Diana Ross and demonstrated that we can sell tickets for big acts.
"It makes it all the more bizarre that we have not had a facility capable of staging major events before."
Talks have also started with sport governing bodies about bringing events to Kings Dock in 2008.
The new arena will be able to host a range of indoor sports, such as boxing, tennis and gymnastics.
Mr Prattey added: "We have been in discussions with UK sports bodies to ask them about coming to Liverpool.
"Televised sport in particular would raise the profile of the arena and Liverpool as a city."