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Official Review by Alex Shoemaker, Stadium Journey Guest Correspondent
Like everything the University of Oregon does, Matthew Knight Arena gives fans a basketball experience full of flash and excitement. MKA is home to the men’s basketball team, women’s basketball, as well as volleyball, acrobatics and tumbling. Famous performances like the Harlem Globe Trotters, Cirque du Soleil, monster truck rallies, rodeos and more have also gone at the arena.
Prior to the movement to MKA, Oregon athletics played their home games at McArthur Court from 1926-2011. The outdated building, one of the oldest in all of college basketball was vacated for the Ducks’ current home. Oregon was a struggling program before the move, going an embarrassing 8-23 (2-16) in 2008-09 and 16-16 (7-11) in 2009-10. On January 14, 2011 Oregon made it’s home debut in the new arena. Since, Oregon men’s basketball has seen a spike in productivity finishing 2011 as CBI champions, making a deep run into the 2012 NIT and finishing 2013 in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
Oregon is a program on the rise, and there’s no doubt the new facility has keyed their ascent to the top.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There isn't really any particular thing that stands out about the food at MKA. You'll see overpriced popcorn for $4.50 or more depending on the size you want, as well as hot dogs and burgers. They do offer "ducks tracks" ice cream and have some special food items on occasion when there is a special event.
When the stadium hosted a rodeo show back in 2012, there was a nice collection of beer available and more of a rural approach to the food available. A lot of what you're going to get as far as food and beverage will depend on what event you are going to.
The atmosphere at MKA is spectacular and one of the best in the Pac-12. Whether it's Oregon's quirky mascot, or the fans, or the commercial break/halftime entertainers.
Events range from students competing in three point and free throw shoot offs to little kids playing musical chairs. The MKA fan relations staff definitely spends a lot of time making breaks full of quality entertainment.
MKA is right on the edge of the University of Oregon campus. The arena is surrounded by dormitories and there are always students around. It has a very college town feel to it.
The arena is also located on a very business-heavy street with an abundance of different restaurants and entertainment. Just a few blocks away is Track Town Pizza that offers great food for a poor student price. Other popular places include The Bridge Bar and Grill and Little Big Burger. You can find all of these on Franklin Blvd where the arena is.
You could make a case for either a 5 or 1 for the fan section, depending on what your preferences are. Oregon fans have been frequently voted the rudest fans in the Pac-12 and some times all of college sports. While some may call them rude, I prefer to think of them as vocally passionate.
One of the more infamous incidents was when former UCLA Bruin Kevin Love returned to Oregon and was mercilessly booed. Love, son of former Ducks star Stan Love, chose the Bruins over his home state program. Students heckled Love all game with countless profanities and derogatory terms. It's definitely not a shining moment in Oregon history.
There's one thing you have to hand to them, though. They definitely are passionate.
By far the worst part of MKA is the lack of available parking and access into the stadium. Because MKA is so close to campus and in a densely populated area, it can be a bit of a hike to find a place to park. Expect at least a 10-15 minute walk before and after the game.
I'd highly recommend anyone in or around the Eugene area make a visit to Matt Knight Arena. There will be a variety of different events you can see on any given night. If a certain musician is in town that may be your time to go if sports isn't your thing. Whatever the event is, seeing one of the nicest venues in the northwest is something anyone can appreciate.
It is the top venue in the northwest with clean amenities and comfortable seating. Combine that with the great views from each seat and the quality basketball you have a venue warranting 5 stars.
Member Review by anderso3
It is not often that a person will see a stadium and instantaneously think, "Wow, this is the future of stadiums." However, when you first gaze upon Matthew Knight Arena, you get that exact feeling; the feeling that every new basketball arena built from now on will have its roots in Matthew Knight Arena.
Home of not only the Oregon Duck Men's and Women's Basketball teams, Matthew Knight Arena plays host to the Oregon Duck Women's Volleyball team as well as various community and sponsored events (such as Cirque du Soleil, the Harlem Globetrotters, etc.). Sticking out like a sore thumb just off of the University of Oregon main campus, Matthew Knight imposes itself as one of the most interestingly designed buildings in the nation, resembling a somewhat downsized version of the Staples Center. Designed and sponsored by Nike's co-founder and University of Oregon alum Phil Knight, this arena is a magnificent experience to boast about in any sort of manner.
Officially opening for Pac-10 Basketball play on January 14, 2011, Matthew Knight offers a unique environment that rivals the best college arenas throughout the nation. Building off of its MacArthur Court roots, Matthew Knight has a very intimate feel to it while also giving fans an optimal stadium experience. Boasting a capacity crowd of 12,500, Matthew Knight erects an ear-splitting chorus of rabid Duck fans that makes it one of the toughest places to play in the country.
1809 Franklin Blvd
Eugene, OR 97403
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