VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
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VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena

Coordinates: 30°19?32.77?N 81°38?42.25?W / 30.3257694°N 81.6450694°W / 30.3257694; -81.6450694

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
VeteransMemorialJax.JPG
Entrance to the arena (c.2011)
Former namesJacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (2003-19)
Address300 A Philip Randolph Blvd
LocationJacksonville, Florida
OwnerCity of Jacksonville
OperatorSMG
CapacityConcerts: 15,000
Basketball: 14,091[1]
Ice Hockey: 13,141[2]
Arena Football: 13,011[3]
Construction
Broke groundNovember 27, 2001 (2001-11-27)
OpenedNovember 28, 2003 (2003-11-28)
Construction cost$130 million
($184 million in 2018 dollars[4])
ArchitectHOK Sport
Project manager
Structural engineerBliss & Nyitray, Inc.
Services engineer
  • Limbach Engineering
  • Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.
  • Bessent, Hammack & Ruckman
General contractor
Tenants
Jacksonville Dolphins (NCAA) (2003-15)
Jacksonville Barracudas (WHA2/SPHL) (2003-07)
Jacksonville Giants (ABA) (2010–present)
Jacksonville Sharks (AFL/NAL) (2010–present)
Jacksonville Bullies (PLL) (2012)
Jacksonville Breeze (LFL) (2013–14)
Jacksonville Icemen (ECHL) (2017-present)
Website
Venue Website

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena[5] (originally Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena) is a multi-purpose arena located in Jacksonville, Florida.

About

It was built in 2003 as part of the Better Jacksonville Plan to replace the outdated coliseum.[6]

In February 2019, many news outlet reported a potential sponsorship for the arena in the coming months. VyStar Credit Union and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association were the potential sponsors. On March 12, 2019, a 19-0 vote led to VyStar Credit Union becoming a sponsor for the arena.[7] The 15-year agreement includes an annual contribution to the veterans trust fund along with upkeep of the arena. Despite a city ordinance for no corporate sponsorship for any venue within city limits, it is the third venue in Duval County to have a corporate sponsor.[8]

Naming history

  • Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (November 28, 2003—March 13, 2019)
  • VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena (March 14, 2019—present)[9]

Events

The arena was designed, using state-of-the-art techniques, to have the acoustical characteristics necessary for concerts.[10] The first artist to hold a concert in the Arena was Elton John in November 2003. Since that time, dozens of groups, including country, rap, rock, and others, have performed at the arena.

In 2006, a scheduled Dixie Chicks concert was cancelled, due to lack of ticket sales, which was seen as part of the general backlash against the group's comments on the Iraq War.[11]

Sporting events hosted include the 2004 USA Men's Olympic basketball team in their only game played in the United States, as well as some early round games of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2006, 2010, 2015, and 2019.

On October 17, 2006 an episode of ECW on Sci-Fi was held in the arena.[12] In 2007, WWE held the Pay-Pay view event One Night Stand (2007) in the arena and as of 2017 it has been their first and only major event to be held in the arena. However, a WWE Raw episode was held on August 6, 2018.

The arena found huge success when the arena became the home of the Jacksonville Sharks in 2010 when they were introduced as an expansion team of the Arena Football League. The team was founded by former Orlando Predators executive Jeff Bouchy who is also the brother of former Orlando Predators owner Brett Bouchy. The Sharks have recently generated the highest attendance for a tenant in the arena's history.

It was the host for the Davis Cup first round tie between the US and Brazil on the weekend of February 1-3, 2013. It has also hosted PBR Built Ford Tough Series events in the past.

In 2016, Rihanna opened her Anti World Tour here. The event had an audience of 11,000 people.

Céline Dion will kick off the 2020 leg of her Courage World Tour here on January 8. It will be her first performance in Jacksonville.

Tenants

Currently, the arena is home to the Jacksonville Sharks of the National Arena League, the Jacksonville Giants of the American Basketball Association, and the Jacksonville Icemen of the ECHL.[13] It also hosted the 2011 ABA All-Star Game, which took place on February 26, 2011.[14]

The arena was home to the Jacksonville Barracudas ice hockey team from 2003 to 2007 until they relocated to a smaller hockey arena in the area. In 2012, it was home to the Jacksonville Bullies of the Professional Lacrosse League.[15] In 2013 and 2014, it was also home to the Jacksonville Breeze of the Legends Football League.

In addition to its athletic tenants, the arena is also host to the annual graduation ceremonies of the area high schools.

Noted performers

References

  1. ^ Harry, Chris (October 25, 2016). "Pregame Stuff: UF vs Eckerd (exhibition), 7 p.m. at Jacksonville". Official Website of the Florida Gators. University Athletics Association. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ "Jacksonville Icemen Begin Their Season in Florida October 2017". Official Website of the Jacksonville Icemen (Press release). February 8, 2017. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Jacksonville Sharks". National Arena League. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800-". Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ Marbut, Max (March 14, 2019). "City approves VyStar naming rights agreement". Financial News & Daily Record. Observer Media Group. Retrieved 2019.
  6. ^ Schoolcraft, Lisa R. (November 27, 2001). "Construction Begins on Sports Arena". Jacksonville Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ Bauerlein, David (March 12, 2019). "City Council Approves Adding VyStar to Arena Name". The Florida Times-Union. GateHouse Media. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ Bauerlein, David (February 7, 2019). "Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena could soon have VyStar in its name". The Florida Times-Union. GateHouse Media. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ Bailey, Crystal (March 12, 2019). "City approves arena name change to Vystar Veteran's Memorial Arena". WTLV. Tegna Inc. Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ Sources for construction:
  11. ^ Welte, James (June 13, 2006). "Dixie Chicks remain defiant". MP3 Music News. CNET. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ "ECW on Sci-Fi: October 17, 2006".
  13. ^ "Meet the Jacksonville Icemen, Our New Hockey Team". WTLV. Jacksonville. February 8, 2017.
  14. ^ Pascucci, Gianni (November 23, 2010). "2010-2011 ABA All-Star Game Awarded to Jacksonville, Florida". US Basket. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ Ferry, Jennifer (July 26, 2012). "Jacksonville's First Professional, Indoor Lacrosse Team to Launch in September". Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved 2015.
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Jacksonville Icemen and Jacksonville Sharks

2010 - present
Succeeded by
current

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VyStar_Veterans_Memorial_Arena
 



 



 
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