March 30, 2007
While the UVa Men's Basketball team was winning on the court this season, the John Paul Jones Arena was enjoying that success with a strong financial season.
Fireworks, flames, fanfare and winning. That's how patrons of UVa basketball were greeted to the inaugural season at the John Paul Jones Arena.
"What the basketball team did was incredible. We really enjoyed that but I think if we struggled this season, I think our fans would have come to the games and still enjoyed the game day experience," said Jon Oliver, Associate Athletic Director.
It's that experience that UVa officials say lead to a financially profitable season. In 17 Men's Basketball home games, UVa averaged around 13,000 fans a game resulting in over $3.6 million in revenue. That's almost double last year's revenue at UHall and that's not even counting the entertainment side of the spectrum.
"We have done very well this year with concerts. We have sold out right around 7 concerts which for our size market is phenomenal," said JPJ General Manager Larry Wilson.
So far, Wilson says the arena has exceeded revenue goals set forth by the University. But both Oliver and Wilson say they are always looking forward.
"It's wide open. You have to take creative risks. You want it to be tasteful but we want our fans to have a great time," said Oliver.
"We want to make sure that this enhances the quality of life for everyone in the region. I think we have been able to do that. I think that is the legacy we want to leave," said Wilson.
Right now, football is the primary focus for Oliver and his staff but he says come summer, they will sit down and plan for next season. He says they want to make sure they bring in new entertainment to keep the games fresh. He says what they are working on is a secret now but fans should expect another season of amazing entertainment.