John Paul Jones Arena... where did that name come from? Is it named after the Revolutionary War Hero? Did the Led Zeppelin Bassist have ties to Charlottesville?
Actually, the state of the art John Paul Jones Arena is a recognition, as well as a thank you from a son to his father.
Paul Tudor Jones II, a 1976 U. Va. graduate, made an extraordinary $35 million commitment to the University of Virginia’s newest arena and was granted his naming request to honor his father, John Paul Jones. Mr. Jones has described his father's life as being dedicated to four things: his faith, his family, the University of Virginia and basketball. Jones senior is a 1948 graduate of the University's School of Law and currently lives in Memphis. His love of the University has never faded.
Basketball is a passion he shares with his son Paul. The younger Jones was the first alumnus to voice concern that the University needed to replace the aging University Hall. In November 2001, he made a 10-year $20 million pledge that put the Arena project on the fast track. The ground breaking was May 30, 2003. John Paul Jones Arena is the first facility in the country built by a public university almost entirely from private funds. It holds the title of the largest arena in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Construction was completed during the summer of 2006. The arena is home to The University Men's and Women's Basketball teams and host to a myriad of attractions including concerts, family shows, exhibits, and community events.
John Paul Jones Arena has hosted many of the biggest acts in live entertainment, including Paul McCartney, Dave Matthews Band, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, The Police, Taylor Swift, Eric Clapton, The Eagles, Lady Gaga, Kenny Chesney, P!nk, Jimmy Buffett, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Keith Urban, George Strait, The Dead, Phish, Jason Aldean, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The arena also hosts trade shows, job fairs, the annual Martha’s Market and a number of local high school graduations, including Charlottesville, Albemarle, Monticello and Goochland.
John Paul Jones Arena continues to garner national attention.
The venue has been recognized for the following:
2006 Best New Major Concert Venue – Pollstar Magazine
2007 Hall of Headlines Award – Venues Today
2007 Facility of Merit Award – Athletic Business
2009 Best New College Basketball Arena – Sports Illustrated
#1 in Social Media Power among Similar Venues in 2013 – Venues Today
2014 Green Attraction of the Year – Virginia Green Program
2016 Ranked #1 for 10K – 15K University Venues – Venues Today