John Paul Jones Arena

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John Paul Jones Arena
John Paul Jones Arena HDR.jpg
Location 295 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Coordinates 38°02′46″N 78°30′25″W / 38.046°N 78.507°W / 38.046; -78.507
Owner University of Virginia
Operator SMG

Basketball: 14,593[1]

*End stage 180°: 12,467
*End stage 270°: 14,075
*End stage 360°: 15,177
*Center stage: 15,405
*Theatre: 7,352 [2]
Record attendance 15,219[3]
(11/12/06 vs. Arizona)
Broke ground May 30, 2003
Opened August 1, 2006
Construction cost $131 million
($171 million in 2017 dollars[4])
Architect VMDO Architects
Structural engineer Ellerbe Becket[5]
General contractor Barton Malow
Virginia Cavaliers
(Men's & Women's Basketball)

John Paul Jones Arena, or JPJ, is an arena owned by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.[6] Since its opening in 2006, it has served as the home to the Virginia Cavaliers men's and women's basketball teams, as well as for concerts and other events. With seating for 14,593 fans (nearly twice the capacity of its predecessor, University Hall), John Paul Jones Arena is the largest indoor arena in Virginia. The arena opened for basketball on November 12, 2006, with Virginia defeating No. 10 ranked Arizona 93-90, handing the Wildcats their first season-opening loss in over six years.[7]

The arena is named after the father of billionaire Paul Tudor Jones, who donated $35 million toward the construction of the arena. It is not named after Admiral John Paul Jones, although Paul Tudor Jones himself purchased paintings of the famous Admiral that are displayed at the arena, and the Admiral's words "I Have Not Yet Begun To Fight" are also permanently inscribed there.[8]

JPJ has now been open more than ten years and Virginia men's basketball is 149–38 (.797) here as of February 6, 2017. The Cavaliers are even better, 110–22 (.833), under Tony Bennett.[9]


The design features Roman pergolas on the outside as well as the inside, a modern take on the university's Greek-inspired Jeffersonian architecture.

Paul Tudor Jones, who earned a B.A. in Economics from UVA in 1976, donated $35 million of his personal funds for the construction of the arena. Granted naming rights in exchange for the donation, he opted to name the arena in honor of his late father, John Paul Jones, a 1948 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law.[10] The arena is sometimes incorrectly assumed to be named for the Admiral John Paul Jones.[11]

The arena plays host to not only basketball games, but a wide variety of concerts, performances and other events; for example, its opening season in 2006 included events such as the Charlottesville-originated Dave Matthews Band, as well as Cirque du Soleil, Larry the Cable Guy, The Wiggles, Disney on Ice & WWE Monday Night Raw.

The arena also houses office space for SMG staff, the UVa athletics media relations department, video services and dining services. It also features coaches' offices, practice facilities and an extensive sports medicine facility for men's and women's basketball teams.

The arena's first event was Cirque du Soleil's Delirium on Tuesday, August 1, 2006, but the official Grand Opening event was a two-night tour-ending stand by Charlottesville natives Dave Matthews Band, September 22–23, 2006. An "open house" event for the local community was conducted on July 22, 2006.[12]

In February 2007, the arena was awarded the title of "Best New Major Concert Venue" at Pollstar's 18th Annual Concert Industry Awards.[13]


Anthony Gill blocking a shot in 2014, with JPJ interior as backdrop

The University of Virginia opened the John Paul Jones Arena on November 12, 2006 with a pair of victories. The Virginia women's basketball team defeated Old Dominion University 92–72 in the afternoon. Later that evening in front of a capacity crowd of 15,219, the Virginia men's basketball team defeated No. 10 ranked Arizona 93–90, rallying from a 19-point first-half deficit. Both games included elaborate pre-game festivities that featured a fireworks display and the Cavalier mascot rappelling from the rafters. Michael Buffer was introduced to announce the Virginia starting lineup prior to the men's game.

On March 1, 2007, the men's basketball team defeated Virginia Tech 69–56, clinching a share of first place in the final ACC regular season standings for the 2006–2007 season. The victory marked the school-record 16th home win of the season, and the Cavaliers finished 16–1 for the season in their new arena. Furthermore, Virginia went an undefeated 8–0 in league games at home for the first time since the Hoos went 7–0 at home in 1982. Also at this game, the fans in attendance said goodbye to two fourth-year players, J. R. Reynolds and Jason Cain, both of whom had contributed to the Virginia basketball program.

JPJ has a fire display when announcing the UVA starters

On February 28, 2013, Virginia upset No. 3 Duke which led to thousands of fans rushing the court. The 2012–2013 Cavaliers set a school record with 18 regular season home wins, finishing with a home record of 18–1.

On March 1, 2014, Virginia (then ranked No. 12) beat No. 4 Syracuse at JPJ to win the ACC regular season title outright (i.e., with no ties) for the first time since the 1980–81 season. This win also set two school records: Virginia's first season with 16 conference wins, and 18 consecutive home conference wins (a streak which began in the previous season). The same day, the Virginia student section, the "Hoo Crew," won the 2014 Naismith Student Section of the Year award. It was the final home game for future NBA players Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell, as well as former walk-on player Thomas Rogers; Rogers' three-point field goal at the end of the game, and the subsequent reaction by the crowd and team, were particularly noted by media and the Cavalier fanbase.[14][15][16]

On December 21, 2014, Virginia tied an NCAA record in JPJ by only allowing Harvard one field goal in the first half of a game; Virginia went on to win 76–27 against the Crimson, a quality team which started the season ranked AP No. 25 and which recovered to win 22 games and be a fellow participant in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.[17][18]

JPJ is known as harboring one of the best basketball home-court advantages and crowd noise in the Atlantic Coast Conference and nationwide. Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino of Louisville (and Kentucky) said on the eve of his first game at JPJ in 2015 that he'd heard Virginia has "one of the best arenas in the ACC" and he was "looking forward to seeing it."[19] After his first visit, a five-point victory for No. 3 Virginia against No. 9 Louisville, Pitino lamented that at JPJ the UVA crowd is "on top of you."[20] Pitino would later add to his praise, "I used to think that Kansas had one of the best home-court advantages I’d ever seen. [But at UVA] they all stand up with 10 seconds to go [on the shot clock], cheering their team on defensively. I have not seen that in my 40 years of college basketball.”[21][22]


On two occasions at JPJ, Virginia teams under Tony Bennett and Joanne Boyle defeated strong competition by the exact score of 76–27, a margin of 49 points and nearly a tripling of the opponent's scoring. On December 20, 2014, No. 6 ranked UVA defeated an NCAA Tournament bound Harvard team 76–27.[23] Harvard, coached by Tommy Amaker, had been ranked in the AP Top 25 just one month prior.[24] Barely two years later on January 26, 2017, the unranked UVA women's team would upset No. 19 Virginia Tech, coached by Kenny Brooks, by an identical score of 76–27.[25] In both cases, the Cavaliers' defensive style forced their highly rated opponents to take many outside shots... of which they made very few. Harvard (7–1) shot 16% — 8 for 50 — on field goals and 18% on three-point field goals.[26] The No. 19 Hokies (16–3) made 18% of field goals and shot 7% — 2 for 29 — on three-point field goal attempts.[27]

Other events[edit]

On October 25, 2008, Jay-Z played a concert at the arena, making him the first hip-hop act to play there.

British rock band Muse playing at JPJ in October 2010

On October 17, 2009, Metallica played their "World Magnetic" tour at the arena, supported by Lamb of God and Gojira. The arena became the site of the disappearance of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Dana Harrington from the concert. She mysteriously left the arena in search of a restroom, despite 18 female restrooms being provided inside the secured arena. A "no return on exit" policy was enforced. Harrington’s skeletonized body was found at Anchorage Farm, Albemarle County on January 26, 2010. Jesse Matthew was later charged with Harrington's (and Hannah Graham's) abduction and murder, and he pled guilty to the crimes in exchange for life in prison in March 2016.[28][29]

On December 5, 2009, Phish played the final show of their 2009 Fall Tour at the arena. At the beginning of a first set "Ya Mar", an erratic fan ran on stage fully naked. He hugged guitarist Trey Anastasio and kissed him on the cheek. He made three laps around the stage before finally being run down by security. Anastasio proceeded by saying, "Let's hear it for the naked guy, pick him up, that took a lot of balls." Later on, the lyrics of "Ya Mar" stated "he was a naked pa", and "Run like an Antelope" was changed to "Run like a Naked Guy, out of control".

In September 2010, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) brought their Built Ford Tough Series tour to JPJ Arena;[30] prior to this, the arena had hosted an event on the PBR's Enterprise Tour (which was one of the PBR's minor league tours that was eventually combined with the other minor league tours to create the Touring Pro Division in 2010).[needs update]

On June 23, 2015, Paul McCartney played a sold-out show at John Paul Jones Arena as part of his 2015 Out There tour. The June 23 show was McCartney's first ever performance in Charlottesville. Two days later, the arena hosted a rally to welcome home the 2015 Virginia Cavaliers baseball team following their College World Series championship.[31]


  1. ^ John Paul Jones Arena, accessed January 28, 2017
  2. ^ John Paul Jones Arena
  3. ^
  4. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  5. ^ "University of Virginia John Paul Jones Arena". 
  6. ^ Most of the building is actually in Albemarle County, Virginia, which encloses but does not include the City of Charlottesville. Only a small piece of the southeastern corner of the building is in the city. Detailed PDF maps (which may run slowly as they use quite a bit of memory) are available at: "Space and Real Estate Management: GIS Mapping". University of Virginia. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  7. ^ Virginia 93, #10 Arizona 90, accessed February 4, 2014
  8. ^ Inspirational Addition to John Paul Jones Arena, accessed January 27, 2017
  9. ^ ACC-Raycom Network broadcast said that Bennett was 108–22 during the February 1, 2017 game against Virginia Tech. UVA won 71–48, making Bennett 109–22 following that game and the future record can be counted out from that event.
  10. ^ "What's In A Name" - University of Virginia - John Paul Jones Arena
  11. ^ John Paul Jones: Forgotten Founding Father, accessed January 27, 2017
  12. ^ John Paul Jones Arena Open House Press Release - Official website, accessed 22 July 2006.
  13. ^ The 18th Annual Concert Industry Awards - February 8, 2007
  14. ^ Reid, Whitey (2 March 2014). "Whitey 365: The nice & the not-so-nice". The Daily Progress. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  15. ^ Darney, Caroline (3 March 2014). "Monday Motivation: March 3". Streaking The Lawn. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  16. ^ Schwartz, Brian (1 March 2014). "ACC CHAMPIONS: UVA crushes Syracuse 75-56". Streaking the Lawn. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  17. ^ Reid, Whitey (22 December 2014). "No. 6 Virginia hammers Harvard in historic fashion". The Daily Progress. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  18. ^ Brennan, Eammonn (22 December 2014). "Most impressive part of UVa's 49-point win". Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  19. ^ Transcript: Rick Pitino Previews Virginia, accessed February 6, 2015
  20. ^ Pitino, players talk Virginian loss, access February 8, 2015
  21. ^ Without Anderson, Ball Security Key for Cavaliers, accessed February 11, 2015
  22. ^ Hoyas need more from Joshua Smith; A putback flashback for Colonials, accessed February 11, 2015
  23. ^ No. 6 Virginia Slams Harvard, accessed January 27, 2017
  24. ^ 2014–15 Preseason AP Poll, accessed January 27, 2017
  25. ^ Virginia Women Pound No. 19 Virginia Tech 76-27, accessed January 27, 2017
  26. ^ No. 6 Virginia 76, Harvard 27, accessed January 28, 2017
  27. ^ Virginia 76, No. 19 Virginia Tech 27, accessed January 28, 2017
  28. ^ Seal, Dean (15 September 2015). "Matthew indicted in Harrington case". Daily Progress Charlottesville VA News. Retrieved 21 September 2015. 
  29. ^ Matthew pleads guilty to Graham and Harrington murders, accessed January 30, 2017
  30. ^
  31. ^ Gilbert, James (June 25, 2015). "UVa Baseball Championship Is a Great Way to End the Year". WCAV. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°02′45.45″N 78°30′24.93″W / 38.0459583°N 78.5069250°W / 38.0459583; -78.5069250