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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jun. 9, 2011 6 years ago

Jacksonville Arena earns top honors

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from staff

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena has been named as the best of Venue Today’s “Top Stops” for Florida venues in its size category.

The list is compiled using the leading venues based on gross per capacity. The local arena, in the 10,001-15,000 category, grossed more than $5 million from April 1, 2010, to the past March 31, with attendance of 99,024 at 15 events.

Those events included Reba McEntire and George Strait, Barry Manilow, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Kid Rock, the Harlem Globetrotters, Sugarland and Ozzy Osbourne.

The Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center was second, grossing more than $1 million with attendance of 15,672 at two events.

“SMG Jacksonville and the Veterans Memorial Arena have had an outstanding first quarter this year bringing successful and high-demand events to Jacksonville for the community and visitors to enjoy,” said Larry Wilson, general manager of SMG Jacksonville.

“We are grateful to have one of our facilities recognized by Venues Today and extremely proud to have been ranked No. 1 among other leading Florida venues,” he said.

The Arena is a 15,000-seat, multipurpose facility that is home to the Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame. It has hosted events such as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2006 and 2010 as well as numerous concerts, such as Elton John, the NFL Super Bowl Concert Series and Kenny Chesney’s “Goin’ Coastal” tour.

Venues Today magazine was founded in 2002 to provide information about live entertainment and events to management, owners and suppliers to music, sports and meetings venues internationally.

SMG Jacksonville also an-nounced that the Arena received a “Prime Site Award of Excellence” this month from Facilities Magazine, a trade publication that targets professional planners of conventions and other events, booking agents and talent buyers.

Readers are allowed to vote for which entertainment, sport and special event venues in North America best deserve an award. The list included Madison Square Garden in New York City, along with the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., and the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.

Along with the Arena, SMG Jacksonville manages EverBank Field, the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, the Times-Union Center, the Osborn Center and the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

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