City Council unanimously approves renaming Veterans Memorial Arena

Jacksonville-based VyStar Credit Union will pay city annually for naming rights

By Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville's City Council unanimously approved a deal Tuesday night that will rename the city's arena VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.

Mayor Lenny Curry and VyStar Credit Union President and CEO Brian E. Wolfburg announced last month they had reached a naming rights agreement for the city-owned facility that hosts basketball, hockey, arena football, concerts and other events.

According to the bill filed with the City Council, 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.

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 concession 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 pre-sale opportunities, making it possible for them to purchase tickets before the general public, along with a quarterly veterans' lunch or breakfast that will be hosted by VyStar at the arena.

It's the first time since the arena opened 15 years ago that it 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. 

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