VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena

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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
The Colosseum
Entrance to the arena (c.2011)
Former namesJacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena (2003–2019)
Address300 A Philip Randolph Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32202-2218
LocationDowntown Jacksonville
OwnerCity of Jacksonville
Broke groundNovember 27, 2001 (2001-11-27)
OpenedNovember 28, 2003 (2003-11-28)
Construction cost$130 million
($184 million in 2018 dollars[1])
ArchitectHOK Sport
BuilderRenaissance Group
Project managerNorthside Partnership
Structural engineerBliss & Nyitray
Services engineerLimbach Engineering, Smith Seckman Reid, Bessent, Hammack & Ruckman
General contractorGilbane Building Company, Perry-McCall Construction, Scheer Construction
Main contractorsTurner Construction
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)

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena is a multi-purpose arena located in Jacksonville, Florida.

It was built in 2003 as part of the Better Jacksonville Plan to replace the outdated coliseum.[2] In March 2019, local credit union VyStar became the title sponsor of the arena, which was known as Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena from its inception.[3]


The arena was designed, using state-of-the-art techniques, to have the acoustical characteristics necessary for concerts.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6] 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.


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.[7] It also hosted the 2011 ABA All-Star Game, which took place on February 26, 2011.[8]

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.[9]

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

Noted performers[edit]

King and Country Toby Mac Mathew West


  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  2. ^ Schoolcraft, Lisa R. (November 27, 2001). "Construction begins on sports arena". Jacksonville Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  3. ^ Bauerlein, David (March 12, 2019). "City Council approves adding VyStar to arena name". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  4. ^ Sources for construction:
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "ECW on Sci-Fi: October 17, 2006".
  7. ^ "Meet the Jacksonville Icemen, our new hockey team". WTLV. February 8, 2017.
  8. ^ Pascucci, Gianni (November 23, 2010). "2010-2011 ABA All-Star Game Awarded to Jacksonville, Florida". US Basket. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  9. ^ Ferry, Jennifer (July 26, 2012). "Jacksonville's First Professional, Indoor Lacrosse Team to Launch in September". Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved March 20, 2015.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
first arena
Home of the
Jacksonville Icemen and Jacksonville Sharks

2010 – present
Succeeded by