New JPJ GM: Wilson exits, Pedone takes over

news-wilsonSo long, Larry.

John Paul Jones Arena officials announced March 16 that Jason Pedone, assistant general manager for the venue since 2007, has replaced Larry Wilson as general manager. Wilson, who has been GM since the arena opened in 2006, has taken a loftier GM position for SMG–- the management company that operates the Arena on behalf of the University–- in Jacksonville, Florida, where he’ll manage six venues in the city.

“Larry leaves us in a great situation,” says Pedone, who served as the director of event services for SMG at Reliant Park, home to the NFL’s Houston Texans, before coming to Charlottesville to assist Wilson. “My goal," he says, "is to keep a good thing going."

Indeed, despite some early skepticism about whether or not such a small community could support such an arena, Wilson lured many of the world’s top touring acts to town, including The Police, Metallica, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Billy Joel, Justin Timberlake, Eric Clapton, and U2, with acts like Larry the Cable Guy, Lipizzaner Stallions, and The Wiggles thrown in for good measure. Under Wilson’s management, the arena was named Pollstar’s Best New Major Concert Venue 2006.

Wilson also managed the Paramount Theater in town, but Pedone says that’s not part of his new job description. He says he doesn't know what SMG’s plans are, but promises to look into it.

Of course, attendance concerns have always been an issue, considering that most major venues like JPJ are in big cities, but Pedone says he’s been impressed with the way such a small community has supported the Arena.

“The building, and the community, really do the work for us,” says Pedone, who was raised in Tennessee and carries the familiar accent. “It’s not easy to support the kind of big acts that come here.”

Moving forward, though, Pedone says the economy will remain a concern, and he hopes the community will continue to show that support. The Arena will continue to bring a wide variety of events to town, he says, everything from chart-topping artists like Lady Gaga to the world’s top professional bull riders.

“Lady Gaga is an artist everyone wants,” says Pedone. “That was a big get for us. And the bull riders, that should be exciting”Š these are the big boys in the sport.”

Personally, Pedone says he’s excited about not having to move.

“There’s lots of moving around in our business,” he says. “So we’re excited to be staying. My family has enjoyed living here these last three years, and we’re looking forward to many more.”


quote: "Hopefully, JPJ does a review about security and leaving women alone in their parking lots at night."

BINGO! We have a winner!

I still don't understand why people refuse to acknowledge that the death of this young lady was a direct cause of the no re-entry policy.

My bad! Typing and eating a late dinner at same time!

I meant to say Morgan's death was a "direct result", not a "direct cause", of the re-entry policy.

It will be interesting to see if Jason Pedone has any plans or suggestions on to improve security outside the John Paul Jones arena and the immediate vicinity. He should be on notice that security is a pretty serious issue by now.


-insert bad poetry

-inset comment from psychic or someone channeling morgan

-repeat no entry policy mantra of choice

- l.k. tucker comment here


Re: CC's Comments.

Gosh don't voice your concerns, because CC might comment.


CC obviously has nothing to add to the discussion.

I did ask Mr. Pedone about the the re-entry policy, and he referred me to the University's past statement on the matter. See below. -- Dave McNair

University of Virginia Statement on John Paul Jones Arena Re-entry Policy

October 23, 2009

All of us in the University community, like people everywhere, hope for Morgan Harrington's safe return, and we continue to keep her family in our thoughts and prayers during this tremendously difficult time.

Questions have arisen about the "no re-entry" policy at John Paul Jones Arena.

A "no re-entry" policy is typical of most major event venues, and the events that utilize these venues, throughout the world. Patrons attempting to enter the facility without a ticket, with an invalid ticket or with a previously used ticket are denied access, unless they have previously obtained management approval to re-enter.

For crowd control, we need to prevent people without tickets from entering the facility. The policy also decreases the possibility of contraband being brought into the facility.

To reduce the need for patrons to leave, John Paul Jones Arena provides amenities that patrons might require in the course of an event, such as restrooms with baby-changing facilities, family restrooms, complete facilities for the disabled including wheelchair assistance, a controlled smoking veranda, first aid and emergency medical services, security and police services, food and beverage services, customer service representatives and an advance ticket sales window.

Exceptions to the re-entry policy are made for urgent matters that are brought to the attention of management by members of our trained staff.

I hadn't noticed the last sentence of that statement before: "Exceptions to the re-entry policy are made for urgent matters that are brought to the attention of management by members of our trained staff."

I've often wondered just what Morgan's interactions with the security staff were. When they told her "sorry, no re-entry," did she just say "OK" and walk away? Or did she try to explain that she wasn't from the area, didn't have her car keys, and had nowhere to go? Did the security staff bother to notice that she was obviously not dressed appropriately for cold weather? Witnesses and police have said she was acting strangely (tried to kick someone?) and was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Did any of the security staff notice this, and if so, why didn't they conclude that she (and any intoxicated person) would be safer if they let her wait somewhere, or even arrested her? I thought the laws we had against underage drinking, drug use and being drunk in public were supposed to be about keeping people safe?

On the other hand, if Morgan didn't make it obvious to them that she was in trouble, and she didn't even have her ticket (had she left it with her friends?), then you can't really fault them for turning her away. And if they allowed re-entry, it wouldn't have mattered if she didn't have proof that she'd had a ticket in the first place.

If they told her "sorry, no re-entry" and she proceeded to curse them out, it's easier for me to understand there, too, why they wouldn't have had much sympathy. I've been in similar situations to hers, and I've found that offering a polite explanation makes all the difference.

I still don't feel like I know enough about what happened to Morgan to conclude whether the security staff bears any responsibility. But I do hope that Mr. Pedone will emphasize to them the importance of thinking on their feet and always keeping the safety of arena guests top of mind, regardless of what the formal rules are.

endless loop”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š”Š..

No stub?

A simple exit/reentry procedure would be to stamp someone's hand if they have a valid reason to leave and return. Then put them through the metal detector, or whatever level of scrutiny they were subjected to upon first entry. If they appear to be drunk, give them a breathalyzer test. And some valid reasons to leave would be to get your insulin, perhaps you forgot your binoculars, or camera. Perhaps your daughter called, her car broke down, and unless you pick her up, she won't make the concert.

The policy on their web page is clear: ââ?¬Å?Exiting and reentering with the same ticket is not permitted.”

George Orwell and Draconian come to mind when reading the policy....

Anyone know if UVA pays property taxes on the arena? I know they are tax exempt, but if they have a profit machine, I think they should also pay property taxes. Tax that football stadium too!

GSEO-Do you have nothing better to do than post? Seriously. Have you ever had your bag and coat checked when you enter a stadium? I have. Every time. Was mine checked at a JPJ concert? Yep. Every time. Are their air sensors for bombs in JPJ? Indeed there are.

Should a stadium let in a total drunk and put the other people inside at risk for the benefit of one person who couldn't act responsibly? In terms of "alone"--how about her friends? Where were they? Or do we not talk about them because they had drugs with them, just like the ones that were in her purse.

Until you've talked to the people who wrote those stadium policies don't assume one side of the story. How do I know? I wrote them for stadiums in two states.

If the stadium lets her in and she causes a ruckus, the stadium gets sued. If it keeps her out, it gets sued. It can't win. Do you make a rule that protects the people inside, or the one person outside? That's not exactly a prisoner's dilemma.

Here's the bottom line: it's a horrible, horrible story. BUT, we all have to be responsbile for ourselves in this day and age. You seem to ignore that CONSTANTLY. We can't count on anyone--not friends, not JPJ, not a stranger. We probably shouldn't travel 2 hours to new places, render ourselves out of it by doing drugs, and expect that everything is going to work out for the best. The world isn't a safe place. That's not any new news last time I checked.

quote: "stadium policies... I wrote them for stadiums in two states."

That makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Implement a security system like "Name" indicated and you double your ticket price. I guess that would solve the problem because no one would attend events.

Sorry, but Morgan's death was a direct result of her being drunk out of her mind and a crazed person who took advantage of it. I am still very certain she left with someone she knew, even if it were someone she had briefly met. What college-age girl leaves her girlfriends alone? The only security that could have prevented her disappearance and death was a personal guard.

Fuel Bag...

Quote: How do you know that the staff there didn’t do exactly as they were told by policy?

Thus the extra training they are suppposed to receive for patrons in distress.

Quote: Note: they had just seen her kick another man, and she was clearly intoxicated/high.

Would you let someone into your house in this situation? Doubt it.

No, I would not let someone in my house like that. But I would call authorities which has been commented that they did NOT do.

That all being said...then maybe it WAS the policy (provided the staff did what the policy instructed them to do) that did contribute. Granted she was responsible for herself but JPJ is responsible for the people on their grounds as well and if she was too big a threat to re-enter then she would have also be a threat to the people on the grounds outside the areana, public in general and herself.

From what I have read here on the forum/blog, I think most people would just like to see a change in the way things are handled for the security of the arena so there isn't a repeat...

FuelBag- Agreed. Thank you!

CC- Marry me?

Quote Fuelbag: Want to bet? Our policy in California kept a 19 year old with a glock from getting into a stadium on re-entry.

I disagree....Not the policy that kept it from happening, was the person CARRYING OUT the policy. Policy is just words on paper. I can write a policy, but if no one adheres to it, it's useless. If I don't train my staff (as UVA has admitted they will be re-training staff to handle patrons in distress) then the policy is useless.

Thankfully for the "glock" incident above someone got the training they needed to carry out your policy and kept a potential problem from happening! Kudos for that!

quote: "...the only reason they even wrote an article about this change was to stir the pot..."

I find that hard to believe.

Gasbag you are correct. This is a University area, and there should be some awareness of the fact that the concerts will be filled with young people. Morgan may well have been drinking - that doesnt mean that she should have been refused entry and exposed to a predator. I keep reading in these posts that it is some way her fault. That, well, she shouldn't have been alone that's what happens to women alone etc etc. The real real issue is that there is still someone in or near the area who killed this girl. You can blame her all you want (and people seem to do so) but she didnt kill herself. Under the circumstances, it would be horific if someone else died in the area. Until someone is arrested and conclusively proved to have killed her, there is a bad situation in the area, and JPJ should train people appropriately. It is kind of you to acknowledge the family and how they feel. this kind of event is like a forest fire--it sweeps through all family members and relationships. People survive but they are crippled for life.

Yes let’s just blame the girl.

It’s the girl’s fault
She shouldn’t have been beautiful
She shouldn’t have been at a concert
Wearing makeup
And a skirt
She was asking for it
They all ask for it
That way when the body is found it becomes their fault
Or the friends
Or the parents
Never the killer’s
No, he was giving her what she asked for
So in America in 2009
If you are a woman don’t go out alone
Don’t go to public events alone
Don’t walk after dark alone
If you are pretty or young,
Because if something happens to you
Remember you asked for it
Thst’s what the world will say
Not that you are/were beautiful
full of live
Waiting to burst onto life’s arena
Waiting for your first real love
your father walking you down the aisle
Your children
No, you are a tri-dimensional flesh cartoon
An object of hostile desire
An object to be destroyed
We talk about the Taliban
With girl/woman murderers in our midst
But as we can see, in America
in 2009 and 2010 you can always find people to say
She asked for it

Honoree, we not talking about re-entry anywhere else. We're discussing the John Paul Jones arena. And there policy very clearly states, and I quote, "Exceptions to the re-entry policy are made for urgent matters that are brought to the attention of management by members of our trained staff."

Some of you people don't have children most likely. Some of you might not ever have any children. So don't sit there and try to say you can feel the Harrington's pain.

I would hate to think the Harrington event could take place again on Saturday night with Taylor Swift in town. The arena is sold out, one of the largest crowds ever coming in. I hope the John Paul Jones staff has been trained to discuss why a person ended up outside and why they need to re-enter this time. We don't need somebody with an IQ of 56 standing at the entrance doors repeating, "Nope, no re-entry!" over and over. If no further discussion or training with staff has taken place with the John Paul Jones arena staff since Morgan's disappearance there is a major problem already, no re-entry policy or not.

Morgan was, by all accounts, really really drunk, and the no-rentry policy is designed to keep people in that state from coming in and causing disruptions. It also sounds like she was in a belligerent mood and may have been rude to the staff, in which case they probably would not have made an exception. She was no doubt one of many intoxicated people there that night, and although it would have been nice if staff had looked out for her and tried to get her help, JPJ is not in the same "in loco parentis" role as the University. I'm sorry she died, and it's an object lesson to young people everywhere about the perils of substance abuse.

cpcville, where are you getting your information from? Really really drunk?

But, let's assume you are correct. Once again, the John Paul Jones arena is still at fault in this death. If she was "really really drunk", she is not able to care for herself according to Virginia law. When a person is drunk in public in Virginia they are taken into custody for their own safety. Therefore the John Paul Jones staff had an obligation to notify local law enforcement officers who could make a legal arrest.... which were already on the scene by the way. I imagine there were at least 75 to 100 cops working this event.

The local police had no problem arresting a young couple for being "drunk in public" down near the mall... after a police Jeep almost ran over them in a crosswalk one evening.

GSOE - are you referring to the Morgan Harrington case? She could just as easily have been abducted at a gas station, outside a shopping mall, or at a bus stop. It's a bit of a stretch to chalk that up as a "pretty serious issue" at JPJ, any more than preventing abductions is a pretty serious issue everywhere.

Re: Music Lover's comment.

I don't want to stray too far off topic here, but I will point out that if someone were abducted at a gas station, or shopping mall, it may be that they were not denied reentry first! JPJ has a POLICY about reentry, I know...I know, and the police have a policy about releasing video tapes when they shoot people, but sometimes policy should be reviewed and leaving single women alone outside a venue when they attempt to get back inside suggests that someone who can think on their feet should make a judgment call on the spot at the door. It's almost like a "Zero Tolerance" mindset guards the doors at JPJ and that reentry is 100% not an option. Zero Tolerance takes intelligence out of the equation. JPJ will always be remembered as a step in the sequence of Morgan Harrington's demise, like it or not, deserved or not, citizens will always wonder "what if" she had just been let back in. In fact, it makes you wonder if the no reentry policy was enacted by the same folks that made it a criminal offense in Charlottesville to leave your sidewalk covered with snow.

Maybe Jason Pedone will come along and enlighten us with his wisdom?

I convey my hopes that the man, unfortunately crushed by the Monster Truck at JPJ, will make a fast recovery. I know the sport is known for safety with kill-switches in the trucks. Despite the top level safety, I read they are doing a review to ensure that the incident can not happen again.

Hopefully, JPJ does a review about security and leaving women alone in their parking lots at night.

GSOE-Please...she didn't even have a ticket stub. How could she prove she was in there in the first place? Think about your point--if they let someone in who had already left, that person goes to the parking lot, puts a bomb in their shirt, and comes back in...who are you going to blame? The stadium! Of course. Nobody wins. Your argument is short sighted. Stadiums started this policy mostly in 2001--why? To stop terrorists from being able to get back in later under less scrutinizing security. Your argument raises a point--but that point then defeats your argument.

Cue endless loop...........................................................

quote: "Stadiums started this policy mostly in 2001..."

Osama Bin Laden won. He has totally changed the way we live in the USA. Everybody lives on pins and needles now while being scared to death every minute of the day.

By the way, while we are having my short sighted argument... what's to prevent the person from taking the bomb in with them the first time they go into the stadium? Is there some type of stadium etiquette that states you have to go outside and sneak a bomb in later?

Having worked with both of these gentlemen, I am confident that each will be successful in their new roles and their facilities will benefit greatly. Congratulations to you both!

Mr/Mrs/Miss M, considering th fact that nobody that's ever discussed the re-entry policy here in these forums has ever mentioned the "exceptions" clause, I doubt they knew about it. And I doubt the security guard that refused to let Morgan back in knew about it as well.

My heart bleeds for the Harrington family, but I do not see how JPJA can be held responsible for a policy that's been in place since the arena opened. Morgan was a junior at VT, did she never attend a football game or concert on campus there? The reason I raise that question, Cassell Coliseum and Lane Stadium have basically the same no-entry policy as UVA. To follow are direct quotes from their respective websites:

Cassell Coliseum:
All fans entering Cassell Coliseum regardless of age must have a valid ticket to gain admission to the arena. Once fans enter the arena, they may not exit and re-enter."

There is NO re-entry."

Lane Stadium:
All fans entering Lane Stadium/Worsham Field regardless of age must have a valid ticket to gain admission to the stadium. Once fans enter the stadium, they may not exit and re-enter.

There is NO re-entry."

Large complexes all over the United States adhere to a no re-entry for both economic reasons and protection of their patrons while "inside" the arena. Morgan was not an 8 or 12 year old who happened to wander outside unescorted, she was a 20 year old young adult who, for reasons still unknown, left the arena and when she couldn't re-enter, instead of staying near the arena and within sight of the doors, proceeded to wander across 2 parking lots and onto a public bridge. Does that make her responsible for her fate after she left the arena, no, but she is responsible for the decision to walk through those doors. I hope what happened to her will serve as a warning to all who read her story, always maintain control, don't accept a drink or food from someone you do not absolutely trust, friends need to stay together and look out for each other. If you have any doubt about a facilities re-entry policy ASK before exiting.

I have children who attend concerts and shows at the JPJA, always with adult supervision. Even at their young age, my children know that they cannot leave unless they are willing to give up the rest of the show. I feel much more comfortable knowing that at least someone is not able to go to the parking lot at 1/2 time or between bands, chug down alcohol or drugs and them come back and sit beside my child. I strongly encourage the arena, review the policy, perhaps consider offering a secure detention room, away from other concert-goers for people under 18 who find themselves in the same position as Morgan, but DO NOT have an open door policy between the parking lot and the arena after initial entry.

if they tried to arrest every seemingly intoxicated person at concerts they would need to rent jpj to hold them all.

She left, she got kidnapped and killed. The aren did nothing wrong.

let it go.

quote: "...I keep reading in these posts that it is some way her fault. That, well, she shouldn’t have been alone that’s what happens to women alone etc etc....

"Alone" is the key word in your remark. Alone in a city in which she didn't reside. Alone in surroundings where she didn't have anybody closeby on speed dial. Alone because she had been been denied the right to rejoin her friends. And most importantly, alone because the John Paul Jones would NOT allow her to re-enter. Unless there is some magical video with audio hidden away somewhere, we don't know what transpired between Morgan and the person who refused to allow he to come back inside the arena. She could very well have begged, pleaded and explained her unusual circumstances to the person at the entrance door. Security guards aren't the most intelligent people in the world. They wouldn't be security guards if they were. Denying somebody re-entry is most likely a welcomed power trip for the vast majority of security guards natiowide.

People can say what they want in this "endless loop" discussion (I hate it when we annoy CC, sorry CC!)But if it had been my daughter I would have already filed a $10,000,000 wrongful death lawsuit against the John Paul Jones arena and let a jury decide if JPJ was in any way responsible for Morgan's death or not.

Mostly she was alone because SHE made the CHOICE to leave the arena.

Mostly she was vulnerable to predators because SHE made the CHOICE to put herslf in a vunerable situation.

JPJ is getting a bum wrap.

I'll bet that the people at taylor swift will be a little more careful(as they should)

She was murdered... would it have been jpj's fault if someone had merely knocked her down and stolen her ipod or purse?

Would it have been jpjs fault if she had not been let back in and caught a cold?

I can guarantee that if jpj had let her back in and she tripped and knocked somebody over the balcony and THEY died, JPJ would already be in court.

The focus here needs to be on finding the KILLER(s) and then going backwards to see where they fell through the cracks. Odds are overwhelming that they are in somebodys system and somebody will say" I knew he was nuts the first time I met him"

Suppose she was at Bed Bath and Beyond at closing time..should they let her back in once she leaves? How far does it need to go?
Do you think the Air and Space Museum would let her back in? The streets of DC are 1000 times more dangerous than UVA grounds.

This argument is not about this girl, I do understand the families loss, but changing the policy would not change anything but the name of the victim, for I am sure that the person(s) who would do something like this would have just looked elsewhere.

I am sure that he/they are looking elsewhere as we speak/blog. She wasnt at a store at closing time she was at a concert which she paid to attend. She would have been more careful if she was in DC She had been there many times. she had travelled throughout Europe and the US and attended concerts in many places. She was killed in Charlottesville and that killer is still out there--in Charlottesville.
Be careful.

The Bonemaker

Bones and rags in a field
That’s what we have come to
The bonemaker did this
He took a living breathing person and made bones
And rags
No breath, no life, no future, no love
And he is out there
Ready to make new bones
In a new field

blog from the website from her mother

The nights can be difficult. When you are between sleep and wake your defenses dip and then unwanted thoughts and images come roaring in. I try not to think of how scared you were, the terror you felt. I try not to think of how much pain you were in as you were slaughtered.

Were you still alive when they brought you to Anchorage Farm? To be hunted like a deer running frantically over the hay stubble in the field desperate to escape, trying to survive, crying, screaming, I see it. I hear it. Or, were you brought there already dead, like a slab of meat, carrion to be discarded and dumped in the field to rot ââ?¬â?? just another carcass in the hunting preserve.

These images haunt me at night. During the day I can usually shake them off and focus on our job, trying to find your murderer. Other girls are in danger while this sadistic monster walks free. We will never rest until he is put away. Morgan will you help us, in what ever way you can to remove his evil from the world?

2 4 1

The Harringtons visited the bridge where Morgan was last seen today, the 5 month anniversary of her abduction and possibly her murder. This isnt over while there is a murderer out there. A college town is full of prey, and he wont stop. Someone needs to turn him in. He wont turn himself in --its too much fun for him.

quote: "This argument is not about this girl..."

Well of course it is. JPJ has a new general manager. Is he going to do anything at all to help prevent more Morgan Harringtons in the future?

What would you want us to ask this new general manager, whether or not he's going to start serving up tacos at every concert or not?

By the way, I don't see anybody arguing. it's called a discussion. :)

I hope that what he does it to put up great big signs that says that the world is a dangerous effing place and that there are killers on the loose. He could add a second one that says that personal responsibility is REQUIRED and that if you can't handle the truth stay home.

and the only reason they even wrote an article about this change was to stir the pot...

Fuel Bag uses the Hook's comment page to shout out. I smell the fumes. ***cough*** *** cough***

Many of us in the local community just vote with our dollars and avoid JPJ for a variety of reasons. If enough people avoided the forum, change would come quick.

In many ways JPJ was a sound ship at sea, Morgan was in a life raft, she asked for help at the door, sent an SOS, but was denied rescue.

No one has had anything to add to the discussion for months now. Haven't you been reading?

Want to bet? Our policy in California kept a 19 year old with a glock from getting into a stadium on re-entry. How's that for being part of the problem? Who do you want to protect? People inside or outside. You can't have both.

I note you didn't respond to the rest of it.

Face it people. We ALL have responsibility. That's my only point.

I'll go back to being part of the problem now. Cheers.

fuel bag 1
gas bag 0

are you ready to RUMMMMMMMMMMMBle?

My bet is on Gasbag Wigwamstumpgrinder....he's relentless...

Back on the subject...It will be intresting to see if the NEW GM makes changes or just writes policy. I prefer action in this case considering it could have contributed to Morgan's disappearance.
But considering they have "trained" staff to handle such cases as the "really, really" drunk patrons and how they get in the arena in the first place that way with all the "trained" staff and check points for bags etc....and if the staff is "trained" then the reports of Morgan being in distress should have been handled, police called etc. But hindsight is 20/20 vision, so let's please take that into I stated before...will it be changes or just re-written policy?

How do you know that the staff there didn't do exactly as they were told by policy?

Note: they had just seen her kick another man, and she was clearly intoxicated/high.

Would you let someone into your house in this situation? Doubt it.