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Arena drawing big acts and more of them

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Arena Drawing Big Acts Like Metallica to the First Coast

By Jennifer Brice

First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Metallica played to a packed house at Jacksonville's Veterans Memorial Arena Monday night. They are just one of many big acts coming to the Arena, and many say the building is changing the First Coast.

550,000 people have walked through the Arena's doors since it opened nearly a year ago. Before that, many people had to travel to larger city like Orlando, Atlanta, and Miami to see big acts.

This year's roster is a far cry from the 13 shows the old Coliseum booked each year. The Arena has more than doubled that number to 29 shows in its first year -- and the impact of the extra acts is about 300 jobs a show from security, to ushers and even cooks.

"We are one of the top three markets for concerts in the state," explained Nan Coyle, of SMG.

"We're getting more calls direct from managers out of Nashville and California. The attention is much better," she said.

Now that we have a large venue, Jacksonville is booking shows in their first act. That means they come here earlier in the concert's run.

This shows that happens when Jacksonville invests in itself and its quality of life.

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I love our arena! It's one of the top projects in the BJP, and it's helping to draw national attention to Jacksonville. More acts are coming to town. Now all we need is a new convention center.... <_<

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