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Matthew Knight Arena

Doesn’t have the same ring as Mac Court. Knight Arena. Meh.

For those who want more proof that Phil Knight and company own the University of Oregon, I refer you to the Register Guard and the Ol’ Dirty:

UO President Dave Frohnmayer was happy to comply and on Saturday, at a news conference in the Rose Garden arena just before the Papé Jam basketball double-header tipped off, he announced that excavation will begin on the Matthew Knight Arena this week. The $227 million stadium will replace 82-year-old McArthur Court — Mac Court to students and fans.

Maybe Susan Palmer just hates Nike and Phil Knight but I do enjoy the way she wrote the first sentence there. Frohny was happy to comply. Ha! Who wouldn’t be happy to comply with Phil Knight when he’s bankrolled 3 other buildings on this campus, two of which already hold the Knight name. Let’s list them: Knight Library, Lillis Business Complex, and Law School/Library.

I for one am not complaining about Knight’s money. The dude is rich, bored, and likes sports. However, other than the uniforms and various other Nike donations to UO athletics, the three buildings noted above are not athletic facilities and do support the entire campus.

Mostly I’m just waiting to hear the bitching and moaning from the rest of the UO campus and Eugene area.

  1. nike urbanism duk says:

    Bowers has appealed the arena again !

  2. […] Pros: Experienced managing large amounts of money, people. Cons: Already owns Campus. […]

  3. nike urbanism duk says:

    Pre ghost- The point is I will be the one admiring the signature architecture on opening day and chugging a beer….because the rest of the goddamn Nike-disneyland at Fairmount vision is on ice. Just because the bigmedia morons do not cover the wider development scheme does that mean it does not exist? Bigmedia is dying now because they are incompetent. Do you really think Frohnmayer would endure the political hell of the Westmoreland sale to buy a run down abandoned car dealership if it were not directly ordered by Phil to pursue his wider Nike-urbanist vision? If you believe UO press releases I have a “Oregon college savings plan” you may want to invest in.
    Finally, see the plans for the Knight G.S.B. campus at Stanford that will be built sometime. That new Stanford campus is being “leveraged” with the 105 million dollar Knight gift. Are we to believe Phil would give a gift of the same magnitude to UO and expect only one building to show for it? Incrementalism and secrecy is the only thing UO knows how to do anymore. That is their methodology and their downfall.

  4. Ghost of Paragraphs says:

    God gave you an enter key for a reason, my man.

    Paragraph breaks. Learn to (ab)use them.

  5. nike urbanism duk says:

    I am saying that Laika and the arena both have goals that may not turn out and that they share a common architect.. Part of having goals turn out well is by design. Just because a signature architect designs something does not mean success. It may mean it is more likely to fail. Frank Gehry did a enormous project for MIT that is very cute but now it leaks and he is being sued by MIT. I made the Laika point also to let the Commentator editors know Nikefilm may not be a success. At least some of those layoffs were likely UO students. Nikefilm, I believe, was launched as a tool for Nike brand saving and Pre celebrating films/propaganda. P.K. wants to be a dream maker like Disney. It is about public relations. Successful P.R. makes people want to buy Nike junk. P.R. is also why that particular arena name was chosen I think. Additionally, the arena has already failed because it had a larger goal of being the “catalyst” of a large wave of urban redevelopement. The goal of a medium density urban village(to be built by UO Foundation and the city of Eugene) surrounding the arena is in serious trouble if not D.O.A.. That urban village goal was why the arena financing scheme suddenly changed from public and private donations to 100% public bonds. That financing change was to keep eminent domain “sustainable”. Eminent domain use was partially tamed some time ago when voters passed a initiative(Loren Parks) requiring it only be used strictly for public projects. After that passed the arena financing plan changed. The achilles heel of the arena village was damaged when some neighbors resisted sale to the UO and they had to resort to the eminent domain sledgehammer. UO and Nike both know wide use of eminent domain may put them on the front page of the New York Times so now they know the concept of high-end mixed use Nike-urbanism surrounding the arena is likely be a non-starter. The arena was never really about the arena it was about creating excuses to grab many parcels along Franklin almost all the way to Glenwood and UO becoming a real estate developer. Kilkenny-before he was AD- bought UO a plan(for 1.5 million) called the Farkas Report which laid it all out. If this were just about replacing the arena they would have used the current Mac site or right next to it. Then again I may be wrong. Meghan C. did a good article about the Kilkenny Farkas scheme for the Emerald called “Report Analyzes Development Options”. Kilkenny is out because he now knows now that report is probably nothing more than a 1.5 million dollar coloring book. Nikes architect(TVA) chose the bakery site because he and his condo building buddies want lots of work on the Nike arena village. TVA did the John Ross tower in Portland that is now in litigation and the surrounding South Waterfront neighborhood is widely considered a boondoggle. Farkas “masterplanned” that mess also. If you do not believe Nikes architect chose the bakery site I can provide the Alumni Association minutes which have that info to the Commentator office. Nike urbanism at Fairmount was supposed to enhance the culture and depth of the brand…like Disneyland. In 2006 the Eugene Weakly also covered the Farkas scheme.

  6. Ghost of CJ says:

    Isn’t this ‘Ghost Of’ thing getting played out?

  7. Ghost of Pre says:


    Just so I can get this perfectly clear…

    You are saying that Nike’s film company laid off 65 workers in order to cover up the arena proposal? So Nike, which is an enormous international company is laying people off because of a project in Eugene OR? Seriously? Have you been paying attention to the economy, because a lot of people have been getting laid off…

    Your revolution is over, Mr. Vishanoff. Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir. The bums will always lose. Do you hear me, Vishanoff? The arena will be built, and I will crack a fresh brewski when I first gaze my eyes upon its beautiful structure.

  8. ghost of orwellduk says:

    Nikes film company Laika (the Laika campus was designed by Nikes primary architect who also designed the Nike arena) laid off 65 of their workers recently. My opinion is the name was chosen for the emotional impact to divert attention from the numbers and questionable projections involved in the arena deal. A play from the Clintons “we are doing it for the children” routine.

  9. Robin says:

    I had to really laugh when Phil Knight a few years back threatened not to renew is yearly donations to University of Oregon. I thought that Dave Frohnmayer was going to have a melt down.

    Yes it’s wonderful that somebody feels that the University of Oregon was such a wonderful experience for them and they want to do something to give back.

    But how far does that loyalty go?

    In these hard economic times where spending a lot on shoes becomes a luxury that a lot of people cannot afford, thus hurting Nike’s bottom line, there may come a time where the generous donations from Phil knight might stop.

    Then what would the University of Oregon do?

  10. Chris says:

    After reading that article when it first came out, I got the feeling that they were estranged from each other. Then, his son died at a young age and out of some weird parental guilt for not ‘being there’ enough for his son…

    He strongly encouraged that the new arena be named after his son.

    Noblesse Oblige?

  11. Vincent says:

    Yeah, it was sitting in the submission queue for some reason. I just happened to notice it the other day.

  12. Scott says:

    I don’t really have a problem with it being called Matthew Knight Court, if that didn’t come through.

    What gets me is that this finally came up like 3 weeks after I posted. It surprised the hell out of me to see it when it did pop up.

  13. T says:

    Yep, pretty dumb. It sounds like it’s something reporter Susan Palmer really wants to push, instead of Phil Knight himself.

    The Reg. Guard article had some other great passages: “Knight said that his son Matthew, while not an extraordinary achiever, had found a real niche in charity work …”

    Geez, what do you have to do to be an extraordinary achiever in the eyes of a man who revolutionized sports shoes manufacturing?

    “Father and son had the usual disagreements. Matthew liked to rebel, didn

  14. Chris says:

    The building will be sweet….I just wish they would NOT call it “Matt” court in a twisted attempt to sound like “Mac Court”. It’s stupid.

  15. T says:

    I will be attending a Blazers game in Knight’s skybox at the Rose Garden (through a convoluted series of events too Byzantine to discuss now), so I have nothing but praise for the man and his money. Plus, the Matthew Knight Arena is honestly going to be pretty sweet.

    Daniel: I also wholeheartedly endorse building a $227 million basketball arena in Haiti.

  16. Vincent says:

    The return on the money that’s actually spent on sanitation might be good, but how much of the money earmarked for “sanitation” ends up being siphoned into the pockets of corrupt governments and/or “administrative costs” of whatever NGO has set itself up in the region?

    It’s too bad the PDF links on that page seem to be broken. It’d be interesting to know who is spending that money.

  17. Titties McGhee says:

    Can we develop an innocuous symbol, or highly offensive symbol if you prefer, that will allow us to call it the arena formerly known as Mac Court?

  18. Chris says:

    I really cringed when they started calling it “Matt” court….as if we don’t know the difference. Ay ay ay.

  19. Vincent says:

    Since when does throwing money at third world countries solve anything?

  20. Daniel says:

    Jiminy. What about spending $227 million on Haiti instead? We’re in the middle of pretty terrible economic and environmental crises, and we’re spending a quarter of a billion dollars on a basketball arena? Hooray for the first world.

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