Text description provided by the architects. The Matthew Knight Arena is located to form a new east gateway to the University of Oregon campus. Providing a first impression of the University’s distinct identity, the building exemplifies the core values of progressive thinking, education and environmental stewardship of the institution. TVA Architects worked with the State of Oregon SEED program to achieve a 20 percent energy reduction below code for both the Arena and the adjacent Alumni Center.
Hosting the start of the 2010 basketball season, the Arena is a world-class “theater for basketball” that respectfully acknowledges the legend of the University’s revered “Mac” Court which it replaced and its historic role in collegiate athletics, while addressing present-day needs for safety, modern amenities and sustainability.
Encompassing 422,279 square feet and accommodating 12,500 seats, the Leed Silver targeted six level building is divided into an event level, mezzanine, practice facility, main concourse, balcony seating, mechanical fan room and catwalk, allowing access to spotlight platforms, rigging grid and the scoreboard platform. The event floor has an area of 29,000 square feet when retractable seating is stored in place. A portable basketball floor permitting two full sideways basketball courts for practices and camps is adjacent the playing court.
Large enough to host first and second round games in the NCAA Tournament and to accommodate a growing community, the new facility also allows more flexibility for non-basketball events such as concerts and family shows. The design reflects an effort to share the excitement of the arena activities with the outside world through the use of transparent materials, and allowing internal circulation to be open to both the arena and concourses throughout. In addition, the facility feature luxury suites low in the seating bowl that place suite holders closer to the action while providing seclusion for private entertainment.