The University of Oregon unveiled one of the most unique floors in NCAA basketball: a Matthew Knight Arena surface that pays respect both to Knight and former athletic director (and school benefactor) Pat Kilkenny.
“We wanted to design the most iconic television presence possible for the University of Oregon by conjuring up a highly unique and visible basketball floor design,â€ according to Tinker Hatfield, vice president for design and special projects for Nike. â€œIts inspired by our beautiful tree-covered region and the UO 1939 NCAA Championship basketball team nicknamed the â€˜Tall Firs.â€™â€
The court is framed by a representation of a view from beneath a forest of fir trees. Also present on the floor is the new arena logo, designed for the namesake of the building, Matthew Knight.
The floor has been named for Kilkenny, a long-time supporter of the University of Oregon who recently served as the school’s director of athletics (2007-09), and whose contributions were paramount in the arenaâ€™s construction. The â€œKilkenny Floorâ€ text listed above the Matt Arena logo, is accompanied by three additional graphics.
â€œWe wanted to pay respect to Pat Kilkenny, and the Kilkenny family, by telling their story in a classy and subdued series of three symbolic graphics,â€ Hatfield said.
The left side of the floor depicts Morrow County and Heppner, Ore., where Pat Kilkenny grew up. Also present, which symbolizes his education at UO, is the 1970â€™s interlocking UO logo adorned with three shamrocks representative of his very green and very Irish heritage. Finally, another graphic on the floor symbolizes the beach and sunset of San Diego, where he became a highly successful entrepreneur and still resides today.
As a finishing touch, the phrase â€œDeep in the Woodsâ€ is located below the Matt Arena logo. These words embody the intimidation the venue will pose for visiting teams, and add soul of the building.
ARENA FLOOR FACTS
â€¢ Floor is a Connor Sports Flooring Quicklock Portable Floor (The same surface used for NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships)
â€¢ Floor was manufactured in the upper peninsula of Michigan in the town of Amasa, Mich.
â€¢ Wood used for the floor was donated by Gonyea Family/Timber Products Co., of Eugene/Springfield
â€¢ Floor is 6,944 square feet of Northern Hard Maple that is from an FSC Certified Forest
â€¢ Fabrication of Raw Floor took one week to complete
â€¢ There are 225 interlocking panels weighing approximately 45,000 total pounds
â€¢ Graphics were completed by United Services based in Idaho Falls, Idaho
â€¢ Graphics took 2,500 man hours to complete
â€¢ Almost 2 miles of stencil material was utilized for the completion of the graphics
â€¢ More stencil material was used on this floor then used for the other 30 floors Connor Sports Flooring completed this year
Photo courtesy of goducks.com.
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