What's In A Name? | Paul McCartney Boulevard

Jul 25, 2018

As you drive into the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, you might find yourself on a road called Paul McCartney Boulevard. And yes, it's that Paul McCartney.

In 2017, Sir Paul McCartney was traveling the world for his One on One tour. When considering a venue for his Atlanta stop, the singer steered clear of big downtown locales like Phillips Arena. Instead, he was drawn to a venue far outside the Perimeter: Gwinnett County's Infinite Energy Center.

Sir Paul McCartney at the Infinite Energy Center in 2017
Credit Access Atlanta

To celebrate the arrival of this legendary musician at their suburban venue, Explore Gwinnett and the Infinite Energy Center partnered to come up with a special welcome. Other venues had lined the highways to their concert centers with billboards celebrating the artist, but Gwinnett officials chose a more creative route – literally.

They took advantage of nearby development to name a new entrance road after Sir Paul. According to an Infinite Energy official, the county issued the proclamation the month before his July 13, 2017 show. This honor was bestowed "as a celebration of McCartney's impressive career and the excitement for his inaugural performance in Gwinnett."

Credit Curt Yeomans, Gwinnett Daily Post

When pitching the idea to McCartney's team, Gwinnett officials suggested names like Abbey Road and Penny Lane, which would pay homage to all the Beatles. McCartney reportedly insisted on his own name, saying, "If you're putting a road in, I want Paul McCartney Boulevard." 

So Paul McCartney Boulevard it was. As the tour bus approached the Infinite Energy Center, it drove down the newly named Paul McCartney Boulevard. The legendary artist loved this tribute to him, designed to make the smaller venue one of the most memorable stops on his tour.

McCartney wasn't the only one; the entire community loved the road, the Infinite Energy Center told us. People have even contacted the center asking to buy reproductions of the street sign.

It's not certain exactly how long the road will bear the name of the famous Brit, given ongoing development in the area. But even if the road ceases to exist, its touch on the community won't. Venue officials say they'll likely auction off the street sign and donate the money to better the people of Duluth.

Click here to find more stories behind curious Atlanta names from our summer 2018 series "What's In A Name?" on 88.5 GPB Atlanta’s All Things Considered.