Sponsored by Lane Powell

University of Oregon stadium events sizzle

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
0311_UOStadium_01
(Clockwise from top left:)Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, and Roger Federer.
0311_UOStadium_02
Elton John (performing here in 2010 in Minsk, Belarus) played at the Knight Arena on February 17.
Love it or hate it, the strange floor at the University of Oregon’s new basketball arena is definitely eye-catching. It is also removable. Once the ball game ends, preparations can begin to ready the facility for everything from bull riding to the Eugene Symphony. The facility has four separate loading docks for bringing in drum sets, monster trucks and whatever else might be required.

It’s a good thing. For all the hype surrounding the debut of the new 12,500-seat Matthew Knight Arena, the men’s basketball team has struggled, and ticket sales have been slower than expected. But the non-Duck events are proving to be a slam dunk.

Not surprisingly, the Elton John concert sold out quickly. Then came the jaw-dropping news that tennis icons Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova would play a series of exhibition matches in March, organized by Nike. That event sold out in less than an hour. Future shows are expected to range from monster truck rallies to Cirque du Soleil.

“It used to be that there wasn’t a facility in Oregon outside of Portland that could house these events,” says Mike Duncan, who was hired to bring in high-profile acts. “We saw an opportunity.”

Prior to moving to Eugene, Duncan worked for 24 years at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, a similar venue in that it fills a gap that was not filled prior. Duncan says the plan is to host 30-50 special events at the arena in the first year and to increase that number over time. “Our schedule is looking good and customer demand is strong,” he says.

Jamie Moffitt, the UO athletic department’s finance chief, says a net profit of about $20,000 per special event can bring about a million dollars per year. “These events are an integral part of our revenue stream,” says Moffitt, noting that they also bring in additional money through concessions, merchandise, parking and sponsorships.

A recent audit praised general contractor Hoffman Construction for finishing the stadium on time and under budget. The project was financed with $200 million in state revenue bonds and boosted by a $100 million gift from Nike founder Phil Knight. The mandate from UO President Richard Lariviere is that the arena must be self-sustaining, receiving no general fund revenues from the university.

BEN JACKLET
 

More Articles

Marijuana law ushers in new business age

The Latest
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
062315panelthumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.


Read more...

Reader Input: Rx for Health Care

July/August 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers how Obamacare has impacted their business.


Read more...

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

Flattery with Numbers

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The false promise of economic impact statements.


Read more...

Quake as metaphor

Linda Baker
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
071515-earthquakia-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.


Read more...

10 Innovators in Rural Health

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.


Read more...

Photo Log: Waterfront Blues Festival

The Latest
Thursday, July 09, 2015
bluesfestthumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The sweltering weather didn't keep the crowds away. Although the numbers were down slightly from last year, the Oregon Food Bank raised $850,636 to fight hunger.  About 80,000 people attended despite temperatures in the upper 90s.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS