City Council Approves Deal To Add VyStar To Arena Name

Mar 13, 2019

VyStar Credit Union’s name will go up on the city-owned arena in a multi-million dollar agreement that ends a prior ban on having a company be part of the arena’s name.

Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena will change to VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, City Council members decided Tuesday on a 19-0 vote.

Our Florida Times-Union news partner reports City Council President Aaron Bowman, who is a Navy veteran, said the agreement provides a dedicated source of yearly funding for veterans program while also generating money the city can use to keep the arena in good shape.

Related: A look at the terms of the deal

“The planets had to align for me to ever think this was a good idea, and those planets are aligned in my eyes,” Bowman said.

He said VyStar is the right company for the agreement because the company was founded to serve military members and already is a strong supporter of programs for service members and veterans.

A look at the current front entrance sign at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
Credit Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

The unanimous vote came after some veterans called on City Council to increase the share of revenue from the naming-rights agreement that will go toward veterans programs, a move that would have reduced what the city gets from the agreement for upkeep of the arena.

City Council member Anna Brosche questioned how the deal came up with a figure of 10 percent going to veterans program. In the end, she voted for the legislation after Brian Hughes, chief of staff for Mayor Lenny Curry, discussed how VyStar committed to provide additional financial support for veterans in the agreement.

A longer version of this story is available at Jacksonville.com.