JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city-owned facility that hosts basketball, hockey, arena football, concerts and other events will soon have a new name: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
Mayor Lenny Curry and VyStar Credit Union President and CEO Brian E. Wolfburg announced Thursday they had reached a naming rights agreement. Legislation to enact the agreement has been filed and sent to the Jacksonville City Council.
According to the bill filed, VyStar will pay $525,000 for the first year, with a 3 percent annual increase over the 15-year term of the deal. The agreement also calls for the city to pay 10 percent of the license fee to the Veterans Memorial Arena Trust Fund to support veterans programs.
“We have an agreement that is good for taxpayers and at the same time creates new program funding for veterans in our city,” Curry said. “This is a win for everyone involved, and I will work with the City Council to earn their approval.”
“VyStar is honored to have its name alongside that of our brave veterans on the arena," Wolfburg said. "Both of our missions, to serve and recognize our great military, could not be more aligned."
In addition, the naming rights agreement provides for several veteran support initiatives, including a concessions donation program that will allow arena patrons to make donations to an approved veteran program when making a purchase at the arena’s concessions stands. Those donations will be matched by VyStar.
Other initiatives include a veterans memorial, as well as discounts for veterans and VyStar members on concessions, tickets and parking. Veterans will also be included in ticket presale opportunities, making it possible for them to purchase tickets ahead of the public, along with a quarterly veteran lunch or breakfast that will be hosted by VyStar at the arena.
It's the first time since the arena that opened 15 years ago the arena will feature a corporate name. Large banners displayed on the building three years ago were deemed to be in violation of the city's sign ordinance and removed.
Formerly known as Jax Navy Federal Credit Union, VyStar was chartered in 1952 at NAS Jacksonville to provide civil service and military employees and their families a safe place to save and borrow money. In 2002, Jax Navy Federal opened membership to all residents of Duval, Clay, Nassau, St. Johns and Baker counties and changed its name to VyStar Credit Union.