Fact Sheet

Facts and figures about Newport News, Virginia

Newport News Park

What's In a Name?
No one knows for sure where Newport News got its name, but "Newportes Newes" first appears in the Virginia Company records in 1619, making it one of the oldest place names in the New World. The most widely accepted folktale is that our city is the namesake of Captain Christopher Newport, commander of Susan Constant, flagship of the three ship English fleet that landed on Jamestown Island in 1607. He made several voyages to Newport News in the early days of the Jamestown Colony, bringing "good news" of supplies and settlers.

"We Shall Build Good Ships"
Collis P. Huntington, a Northern railroad tycoon from Connecticut, brought two magnet industries to Newport News: the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. Now known as Northrop Grumman Newport News, the shipyard, chartered in 1886, has built aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy since the 1930s, including the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Enterprise, and is today the sole builder of all the U.S. Navy's carriers. For the record, the first vessel built by the yard was the tugboat Dorothy!

WHERE: Newport News is located in the eastern part of Virginia, midway between Williamsburg and Norfolk/Virginia Beach. Part of the Tidewater/Hampton Roads region, Newport News is on the north side of the James River.
WHEN: Newport News became an independent city in 1896. In 1958, the city merged with Warwick County. English colonists began settling in what is now Newport News as early as 1622
SIZE AND POPULATION: Newport News has a population of approximately 180,719 (2010 Census Bureau). The city is approximately 69 square miles in area; 23 miles long and 3 miles wide.
ACCESS: Newport News is accessible by the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (Delta, USAirways Express, and Frontier); Amtrak; Greyhound and Interstates 64 and 664. The James River Bridge, the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel and the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel provide easy access to other Hampton Roads cities.

Historic Endview
James A. Fields House
Ferguson Center for the Arts
Lee Hall Mansion
The Mariners' Museum and The Mariners' Museum Park
USS Monitor Center
Newport News Regional Park
The Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center
Peninsula Fine Arts Center

Civil War battlefields and 1862 Peninsula Campaign sites
Peninsula S.P.C.A. & Petting Zoo
U.S. Army Transportation Museum
Virginia Living Museum
Virginia War Museum

LODGING AND MEETING PLACE: Newport News has 48 hotel properties with over 4,000 guest rooms. There are also 188 campsites and a municipal marina with transient boat slips. Newport News has nearly 50,000 square feet of meeting space, including space at hotels and some attractions. Five Newport News properties offer full conference and meeting facilities.
SPORTS VENUES: Achievable Dream Tennis Center
Huntington Park Tennis Center
Midtown Aquatics Center
Newport News Golf Club at Deer Run
Stoney Run Softball Complex