January 24, 2017 9:34 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 24, 2017 – SMG Jacksonville, manager of the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, is pleased to announce that the Arena is elevating its world ranking as a top ticket sale producer. For the fourth straight year, the Arena has climbed in the rankings, coming in 98th in the world for ticket sales in 2016, according to Pollstar.
Attendance totals for the venue topped 548,000 in 2016 – the second-highest to date – only marginally missing the record due to the forced cancellation of six Cirque de Soleil shows in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
“Being within the top 100 venues in the world for ticket sales is a significant accomplishment that Jacksonville should be very proud of,” said Bill McConnell, General Manager of SMG Jacksonville. “It validates the work we’re doing to elevate our Arena and become a true hub for sports and entertainment. We are grateful to the Jacksonville community for taking part in the diverse entertainment offerings we proudly recruit and facilitate.”
The Arena played host to numerous high-caliber concerts, even serving as the coveted first stop on three major tours including The Storyteller Tour – Carrie Underwood, Anti World Tour – Rihanna, and the Heart and Soul Tour 2.0 – Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago. Securing the first stop on these tours meant increased notoriety and revenue for Jacksonville as the performing artists utilized the Arena for multiple rehearsal days on top of the live performances. Phish and Pearl Jam also held their first Jacksonville concerts at Veterans Memorial Arena in 2016.
Several unique sporting events took place inside the Arena in 2016, including the USA Curling National Championships, SEC Women’s Basketball Championship tournament and the season home-openers for the University of Florida Men’s and Women’s basketball teams.
Momentum is already building for another record-breaking year. January kicked off with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME, which was the final time the big top tent went up in Jacksonville, as the circus will come to a close in May. Back-to-back top tier concerts will take place throughout the first few months of 2017 including Luke Bryan in February, Stevie Nicks in March, Red Hot Chili Peppers in April and Eric Church in May. Also in March, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Built Ford Tough Series will make its first appearance in the River City since 2008.