- Joseph Oakes
John Paul Jones Arena – Virginia Cavaliers Women's Basketball
Photos by Joseph Oakes, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86
John Paul Jones Arena 295 Massie Rd Charlottesville, VA 22903
Year Opened: 2006
Home of the Cavalier Women
John Paul Jones Arena opened in 2006 and has a seating capacity of 14,593. It is the home for both the Cavalier men’s and women’s basketball teams. The modern arena is luxurious and features a center-hung scoreboard with four video screens that were updated in 2017, a spacious lobby with two large video displays, as well as a lighting system that was updated in 2019. The arena has a classic architectural look that fits in with the University Grounds. This review looks at the women’s basketball experience at John Paul Jones Arena.
Food & Beverage 4
John Paul Jones Arena has a good selection of food offerings for those looking to grab a bite to eat at the game. These include Papa Johns's personal pan pizza, cheese or pepperoni ($9), Hoo Dog ($4), Popcorn ($5), Pretzels ($5), Nachos ($5), and Candy ($3). Pepsi products are sold at JPJ: Bottomless Souvenir Soda ($10), Souvenir Soda ($7), Small Soda ($4), and bottled water ($4).
John Paul Jones Arena is a great venue to watch a college basketball game. There are two levels on three sides of the building, while one of the endzones has just a lower level and a small upper level. The majority of the seating for women’s basketball is on the lower level, with most seats being cushioned. The seating behind the basket where the pep band is located is in the bleacher with no back. Seats in the lower level are close to the action. There is a large four-sided video board, as well as ribbon board that provide the score, time, game updates, etc. There is also closed captioning available for those hard of hearing.
The UVA pep band sits in one endzone and is very engaged throughout the game. The Cavalier mascot also makes his way around the seating area during games taking pictures with fans.
Reserved seating and general admission are available for UVA women’s games. The three-center sections on with side of the court are reserved, while the remaining seats are general admission.
John Paul Jones Arena is located on the picturesque University of Virginia campus, which was designed by President Thomas Jefferson. Monticello, Jefferson’s home, is also located just a few miles from campus and is a great spot to visit if in town for a couple of days. Michie’s Tavern is located nearby Monticello and features a hearty midday buffet lunch based on 18th-century southern recipes in their rustic dining room. If you are looking for an area to eat, shop, and just walk around, make your way to downtown Charlottesville. This area offers many local eateries and shops and is an overall nice place to stroll around on game day.
If you enjoy the outdoors, there are many mountain activities around Charlottesville including hiking and camping. Also located in Charlottesville is the popular Carter Mountain Orchard, where you can buy fresh apples and enjoy a great view overlooking Charlottesville.
UVA curtains off a portion of the upper level for women’s basketball games. That said, the UVA women have a faithful following. One can expect 2-3K for most games, however games against rival Virginia Tech or the annual Play 4 Kay game have higher crowds. When Stadium Journey for the final game of the season, there was over 6K in attendance and the lower level was nearly full/
Charlottesville is located right off of Interstate 64, about 1 hour west of Richmond. John Paul Jones Arena is located on campus but is fairly easy to access from US 29 and US 250. Free parking is available on gamedays in the parking garage adjacent to the arena. JPJ is in the vicinity of the athletic complex which consists of the baseball stadium, softball stadium, lacrosse stadium, and track and field complex. Both the ticket staff and security personnel are friendly. Keep in mind that there is a clear bag policy, though. Once you enter the main lobby, you are actually on the 200 level. To access the lower level seats, you must take the stairs or elevator down.
The concourse is noticeably clean but can seem narrow, especially before and after games. The restrooms are clean, and plentiful, and have diaper-changing tables. There is plenty of handicap-accessible seating available at the top of the lower level.
Return on Investment 5
Women’s basketball offers a great way to take in basketball without paying the prices that you do for men’s games. Reserved seats are $12 and general admission seats are $8. Parking is also free, and concession prices are reasonable.
Smithfield Foods offers a great promotion at UVA games. If the opponent misses two free throws in the second half, everyone in attendance receives a coupon for a free pack of bacon (up to a $10 value) when you exit the game.