Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1960’s

August 4th, 2015, 11:13H · Topics: Around Town, Interior · Print


The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which was located just behind where the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Wall stands today, was across the parking lot of what was then known as the Gator Bowl, the City of Jacksonville’s football stadium. It was designed in the late 1950’s and dedicated in November of 1960. Built at a cost of $3 million, the venue seated 11,000 and sported a 100 foot-tall domed roof. The first event held there was the first ever hockey game played n Jacksonville. The facility hosted numerous indoor sporting events and although designed with inadequate acrostics due to budget restraints according to the building’s designer George Fisher, the facility was a venue for most of the big concert tours of the day from Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley to Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Photographer Loyd Sandgren was hired to document the construction of the building as well as interior and exterior shots of the completed facility. After a 43 year run, the building was imploded in 2003 to make way for the new Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.



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  1. 1 Penny Mumford-Smith August 6th, 2015 17:40H

    This building holds a lot of great memories for me and my family!My memories of all the Wrestling matches with Dusty Rhodes and Jack Brisco!I believe my first time going I was only five years old in 1970.All the Fair’s,Circus,and Holiday on Ice!Miss all those great times!The last time I was in that building was The TDJakes Manifest!What a blessing that my last visit was to lift up the Name of Jesus!

  2. 2 Kenny Holton May 9th, 2016 2:01H

    SO many memories!!

  3. 3 Cyndi Cuneo August 14th, 2017 10:32H

    Starting with Steppenwolf in 1969, I spent many, many evenings at concerts at this venue… back before concerts starting costing an arm and a leg. 😉 Now I go to concerts all over the place. I’m still rocking.

    Now that I think about it, it was probably before ’69, as I used to go i to see the country acts at the fair every year. Tammy Wynette, Ronnie Milsap… you name it.

    Growing up Jax baby!

    • 4 Frank Hodgson 10 19 17 October 19th, 2017 10:45H

      I worked for Gomer Kraus Structural Engineer and we developed all the structural drawings of the Coliseum for George Fisher. A sad day when it was imploded.

  4. 5 Andre Sonnenberg September 4th, 2021 9:18H

    Dear Sir or Madame,

    can you confirm if AC/DC played with Support Act Yngwie Malmsteen at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 1985? Thanks a lot.

    • 6 bob September 4th, 2021 21:55H

      I did some searching of the AC/DC concert history and one listing showed a concert in Lakeland Civic Center with Yngwie Malmsteen as the warm-up band two days before the Jacksonville show the another in the Knoxville Civic Coliseum two days after the Jacksonville show. I found other listings that showed that AC/DC did play a show in the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Jacksonville, FL on November 7, 1985, but couldn’t find a listing that confirmed Yngwie Malmsteen.

  5. 7 Ron Tomlinson March 24th, 2023 21:04H

    Every Thursday went to watch Dusty Rhodes in the 70s

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More