Matthew Knight Arena opened its doors on Jan. 13, 2011, to a sold-out crowd of 12,364 as the Oregon men’s basketball christened the new palace with a 68-62 victory over USC. The building, named after the late son of NIKE Co-Founder Phil Knight, is located on the east side of UO’s campus.
Officials broke ground on Matthew Knight Arena on Feb. 7, 2009, as the 420,000 square-foot masterpiece was constructed in less than two years. Matt Arena was erected to replace legendary McArthur Court, which opened on January 14, 1927. Known as one of the toughest venues in the country for opponents, Mac Court was the second-oldest on-campus arena still in use before Matthew Knight Arena opened its doors.
Also known as “The Pit,” Sporting News named it the “the best gym in America” as sports writer and arena researcher Bill Kintner placed Mac Court his top five of college basketball arenas in America for its history, character, and atmosphere.
Mac Court was a passion incubator. The geometry of the place not only shoved fans close to amplify the intensity of emotion, it put fans on top of the action, making them feel like they were an integral part of the play on the floor, and able to usher their Ducks to victory through the force of their energy and collective will. Fans didn’t just go to Mac Court to watch a game; fans went to live it.
To recreate the same passion and experience at Matthew Knight Arena, the new venue was fashioned with the same close connection to the student-athletes and the action; by making the fans feel like they are an integral part of the game.
Matthew Knight Arena is a monument to all Oregon fans and their common love for Oregon, and the exciting energy that happens when all join together to cheer for the Ducks.
There are several areas throughout the arena, including the club areas, team spaces and concessions that tie the Oregon brand together. Three major displays on the Concourse are the Anthem to the Fan, the Hero Graphics and the Shroud Wall. Each tells different parts of the story. The Shroud Wall is primarily about heritage, energy and progression.
Hero Graphics celebrate Oregon’s great student-athletes and great moments--past and present. The Anthem to the Fan is about common devotion. Together, they express the sense of connection and ownership, the unique and proud heritage, the wild passion, and the unrelenting quest for more championships to come. This Land of the Tall Firs is a special place, inhabited by people who care more deeply about a team that fights even harder.
The unique floor design at Matthew Knight Arena is a nod to the Tall Firs, the nickname of Oregon’s National Championship basketball squad in 1939. The one of its kind perspective is looking up from a clearing in the forest that celebrates Oregon’s beautiful environment.
Kilkenny Floor is a homage to the family of former athletics director Pat Kilkenny. Three logos represent Heppner, Ore., with the Morrow County Courthouse; an interlocking UO with three shamrocks; and the beach / sunset of San Diego. These images honor the hometown of the Kilkenny’s, the Irish pride and logo of Oregon during Pat’s era as a student, and Pat’s love of San Diego where he calls home today.
Matthew Knight Arena rivals Hass Pavilion for the tightest, steepest seating bowl in the Pac-12, and there are unobstructed sightlines to the total playing surface for all seats. The lower bowl of Matt Arena is closer to the floor and steeper than Mac Court. The West Endzone seating is as steep as code allows – over 36 degrees.
The center hung KnightVision boards are the largest (12’8” high and 18’11” high) and highest resolution (6mm) video boards on a scoreboard in an NCAA arena. Only the recently opened Amway Center (NBA Orlando Magic) has larger screens at this resolution.
In addition, Matt Arena has four hustle boards located at the corners of the seating bowl for game stats and 270 degree LED ribbon boards located at front of upper seating bowl.
There are two regulation-size basketball court and one regulation-size volleyball practice courts.
On the floor level, Matt Arena has spacious on-site athletic training and weight training facilities as well as a nutrition bar.
The men’s basketball, women’s basketball and volleyball team locker rooms and lounges also have state of the art technology for gamedays, practices and studying purposes.
DIRECTIONS TO MATTHEW KNIGHT ARENA
From I-5 North
From I-5 South
For individuals who choose to drive their automobiles (whether you are an overnight or day camper), you are encouraged to purchase a PARKING PERMIT from PUBLIC SAFETY for $20. If you choose not to purchase a permit (it’s not mandatory), be advised that Public Safety will issue parking tickets which will be the responsibility of the owner of the vehicle. We recommend that you play it safe and get a permit. Campus parking permit restrictions are in effect Monday-Saturday from 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM, and metered parking is still in effect on Saturday. There are only meters in front of Mac Court but there are some free spots in the surrounding neighborhoods. We recommend contacting Campus Parking Services at 541.346.5444 and they can assist you on the best place to park and how to get a permit.