So much of Nike‘s history is intertwined with University of Oregon, it was little surprise that the company took an interest in building a new basketball arena for the Oregon Ducks. In place of the aging McArthur Court, circa 1927, will be the Matthew Knight Arena, a gleaming 12,500+ seat multi-purpose arena and the new home for the Oregon Ducks Basketball Team. With major contribution by Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, the size of the arena and its cost of $200 million dollars make it one of the most extensive and expensive collegiate athletic facility in the world. However, all for a somber reminder of Matthew Knight, Phil Knight’s son who tragically passed away at age 34 during a SCUBA diving accident.
In addition to his generous monetary contribution, Knight and the Nike family muster their creative talents for the new space. This includes the wunderkind Tinker Hatfield, Nike VP of Design & Special Projects, who created a one-of-the-kind arena floor. Named as “Deep In The Woods”, the new floor incorporates countless silhouette overlays of Pacific Northwest tree lines; give an impression you’re lost in the forest, looking upward. Not only the graphic suppose to intimidate visiting teams, but according to Hatfield, serves 3 purposes, “I really wanted to pay tribute to Matthew Knight himself, to the Kilkenny family and lastly but maybe not least, I wanted to pay tribute to the Pacific Northwest and the Tall Firs, the original basketball team that won a national championship for the University of Oregon in 1939.” The new Matthew Knight Arena for University of Oregon Ducks will make its debut in 2011.
- Floor is a Connor Sports Flooring Quicklock Portable Floor (The same surface used for NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships)
- Floor was manufactured in the upper peninsula of Michigan in the town of Amasa, Mich.
- Wood used for the floor was donated by Gonyea Family/Timber Products Co., of Eugene/Springfield
- Floor is 6,944 square feet of Northern Hard Maple that is from an FSC Certified Forest
- Fabrication of Raw Floor took one week to complete
- There are 225 interlocking panels weighing approximately 45,000 total pounds
- Graphics were completed by United Services based in Idaho Falls, Idaho
- Graphics took 2,500 man hours to complete
- Almost 2 miles of stencil material was utilized for the completion of the graphics
- More stencil material was used on this floor then used for the other 30 floors Connor Sports Flooring completed this year