VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena

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

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
Entrance to the arena (c.2011)
Former namesJacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (2003–19)
Address300 A Philip Randolph Blvd
LocationJacksonville, Florida
OwnerCity of Jacksonville
CapacityConcerts: 15,000
Basketball: 14,091[1]
Ice Hockey: 13,141[2]
Arena Football: 13,011[3]
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
Jacksonville Dolphins (NCAA) (2003–15)
Jacksonville Barracudas (WHA2/SPHL) (2003–07)
Jacksonville Giants (ABA) (2010present)
Jacksonville Sharks (AFL/NAL) (2010present)
Jacksonville Bullies (PLL) (2012)
Jacksonville Breeze (LFL) (201314)
Jacksonville Icemen (ECHL) (2017–present)
Venue Website


It was built in 2003 as part of the Better Jacksonville Plan to replace the outdated coliseum.[6]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. 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.[8]

Naming history

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


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.

On December 1, 2019 Ariana Grande had a concert at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, which was part of her Sweetener World Tour.

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.


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


  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 March 26, 2019.
  2. "Jacksonville Icemen Begin Their Season in Florida October 2017". Official Website of the Jacksonville Icemen (Press release). February 8, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  3. "Jacksonville Sharks". National Arena League. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  4. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  5. Marbut, Max (March 14, 2019). "City approves VyStar naming rights agreement". Financial News & Daily Record. Observer Media Group. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  6. Schoolcraft, Lisa R. (November 27, 2001). "Construction Begins on Sports Arena". Jacksonville Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  7. Bauerlein, David (March 12, 2019). "City Council Approves Adding VyStar to Arena Name". The Florida Times-Union. GateHouse Media. Retrieved March 16, 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 March 31, 2019.
  9. Bailey, Crystal (March 12, 2019). "City approves arena name change to Vystar Veteran's Memorial Arena". WTLV. Tegna Inc. Retrieved March 31, 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 December 4, 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 March 20, 2015.
  15. Ferry, Jennifer (July 26, 2012). "Jacksonville's First Professional, Indoor Lacrosse Team to Launch in September". Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Jacksonville Icemen and Jacksonville Sharks

2010 – present
Succeeded by
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