Pending final approval, an agreement with VyStar Credit Union will result in Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena naming rights being sold.
Currently home to several teams, including hockey’s Jacksonville Icemen (ECHL), and used for other events, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena has had its name since opening in 2002. The venue’s identity could soon be altered, however, as Jacksonville mayor Lenny Curry announced a proposed 15-year naming-rights agreement with locally based VyStar Credit Union on Thursday.
Under the proposed terms, the City of Jacksonville would receive $9.76 million over the life of the agreement, with 10% of annual payments earmarked for a trust fund for veterans programs and VyStar making separate financial contributions to veterans programs. In addition, the contract would stipulate that Veterans Memorial be left in the venue’s name, resulting in VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Curry has filed legislation with the Jacksonville City Council, which would have to approve the proposal. More from the Florida Times-Union:
“This is a win for everyone involved, and I will work with the City Council to earn their approval,” Curry said in the announcement.
Steve Spickelmier, president of the Veterans Council of Duval County, declined to comment Thursday on the proposal. He said he will organize a future news conference to give the group’s position.
Back in 2002, the City Council enacted an ordinance that said the arena “shall not bear the name of any individual or company or any other thing as part of any title.” The council said the building should be known only as “Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.”
The city put that ban on the books at the urging of veterans. Under Curry’s proposal, the arena still would have “veterans memorial” in its name.
It is not uncommon for Veterans Memorial, or a similar variation, to be maintained in the moniker of an arena after naming rights have been sold. There are similar examples around the arena landscape, including Rochester, NY’s Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial, a venue that–like Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena–is home to a minor-league hockey franchise (the AHL’s Americans).
Image courtesy Jacksonville Icemen.