Excitement and anticipation continue to build as the new John Paul Jones Multipurpose Arena’s July 2006 opening day draws near. The seating is well under way with the majority of fixed seating installed and the first piece of the retractable seating completed. The LED fascia board is installed and working. The first components of the scoreboard have arrived and its assembly has started. Painting and final trim work is going on throughout the inside, while the plaza grading, paving, and landscaping is being completed outside.
Upcoming scheduled events include hometown favorite Dave Matthews Band, who will perform during a two-day engagment on Sept. 22 and 23. And for the first time ever in Charlottesville, WWE Monday Night Raw will broadcast live on the USA Network from the John Paul Jones Arena. Other events include a visit from Disney on Ice (Sept. 18 – 22) and the Ringling Bros. Circus (Dec. 6 – 10) — major entertainment acts that Charlottesville will continue to attract thanks to the 15,000-plus seat venue.
Meanwhile, the main attraction remains basketball, with the men’s Hoos hosting their first game in the arena against the Arizona Wildcats in Nov. Both the men’s and women’s teams appear to be much improved with the return of most of their top players from this season and the addition of some very talented newcomers, all of whom are excited about being the first teams to compete in the new arena.