VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
Entrance to the arena (c.2011)
|Former names||Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (2003–19)|
|Address||300 A Philip Randolph Blvd|
|Owner||City of Jacksonville|
Ice Hockey: 13,141
Arena Football: 13,011
|Broke ground||November 27, 2001|
|Opened||November 28, 2003|
|Construction cost||$130 million|
($184 million in 2018 dollars)
|Structural engineer||Bliss & Nyitray, Inc.|
|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)
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. The 15-year agreement includes an annual contribution to the veterans trust fund along with upkeep of the arena. It is corporately sponsored despite a city ordinance that on its face prohibits the arena from having such a name. The ordinance does not cover any other venues, which allows for two other venues in Duval County to have corporate sponsors, most notably TIAA Bank Field.
The arena was designed, using state-of-the-art techniques, to have the acoustical characteristics necessary for concerts. 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.
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. 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.
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. It also hosted the 2011 ABA All-Star Game, which took place on February 26, 2011.
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. 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.
- Eric Clapton
- Carrie Underwood
- Kanye West
- John Legend
- Faith Hill
- Tim McGraw
- Kenny Chesney
- Janet Jackson
- Britney Spears
- The Black Eyed Peas
- The Who
- Keyshia Cole
- R. Kelly
- Eric Church
- Dave Matthews Band
- Pearl Jam
- Post Malone
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Stevie Nicks
- Justin Bieber
- Miranda Lambert
- Shania Twain
- Def Leppard
- John Mayer
- Maroon 5
- Taylor Swift
- Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Van Halen
- Fall Out Boy
- Green Day
- Fleetwood Mac
- Matchbox Twenty
- Hall & Oates
- Kid Rock
- Garth Brooks
- Breaking Benjamin
- Paul McCartney
- Brooks & Dunn
- Jimmy Buffett
- Elton John
- The Trio
- 5 Seconds of Summer
- Mötley Crüe
- Alice Cooper
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.|
- 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 March 26, 2019.
- "Jacksonville Icemen Begin Their Season in Florida October 2017". Official Website of the Jacksonville Icemen (Press release). February 8, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- "Jacksonville Sharks". National Arena League. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- Marbut, Max (March 14, 2019). "City approves VyStar naming rights agreement". Financial News & Daily Record. Observer Media Group. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Schoolcraft, Lisa R. (November 27, 2001). "Construction Begins on Sports Arena". Jacksonville Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
- Bauerlein, David (March 12, 2019). "City Council Approves Adding VyStar to Arena Name". The Florida Times-Union. GateHouse Media. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
- Bauerlein, David (February 7, 2019). "Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena could soon have VyStar in its name". The Florida Times-Union. GateHouse Media. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Bailey, Crystal (March 12, 2019). "City approves arena name change to Vystar Veteran's Memorial Arena". WTLV. Tegna Inc. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
- Sources for construction:
- "Jacksonville Arena - Jacksonville, FL". Limbach, Inc. August 2013. Archived from the original on August 6, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
- Broughton, David (December 1, 2003). "Jacksonville Hockey Team Gets a Record-Setting New Home". Sports Business Daily. Advance Publications. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
- "Arenas". Populous. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
- "Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena". Bliss & Nyitray, Inc. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
- Welte, James (June 13, 2006). "Dixie Chicks remain defiant". MP3 Music News. CNET. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
- "ECW on Sci-Fi: October 17, 2006".
- "Meet the Jacksonville Icemen, Our New Hockey Team". WTLV. Jacksonville. February 8, 2017.
- Pascucci, Gianni (November 23, 2010). "2010-2011 ABA All-Star Game Awarded to Jacksonville, Florida". US Basket. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
- Ferry, Jennifer (July 26, 2012). "Jacksonville's First Professional, Indoor Lacrosse Team to Launch in September". Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
| Home of the
Jacksonville Icemen and Jacksonville Sharks
2010 – present