With a 60,000lb scoreboard that measures three stories tall and 36ft wide, the new 12,364-seat Matthew Knight Arena at the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR, is a show-stopper. Completed in January 2011 at a cost of $227 million, it is one of the most expensive college arenas constructed to date. It's also in the running for LEED Gold certification.
The Matthew Knight Arena replaced MacArthur Court, affectionately called "the Pit" or "Mac Court" by fans. This University of Oregon legacy was home to the Oregon Ducks for nearly a century. After more than 80 years of use, fans were ready for a modern facility that could deliver a more engaging game-day experience. With multimedia components that allow for live coverage, instant replays, behind-the-scenes action, fans in the stands and promotional messages, the new arena does that and a whole lot more!
The design goal of the arena was to integrate new technology able to capture the action on the court and in the stands — and take the spectator experience to a higher level. Denver-based systems integrator Burst accomplished this with a robust HD system that handles a wide variety of sport and entertainment needs.
The overall project schedule was tight, making logistics and coordination critical. Considerable communication and coordination with other trades was essential to ensure that all contractors were able to complete their work on time. Services weren't always available or reliable. When the electricians needed to kill site power to test various systems, it placed an additional burden on the schedule for completion.
The new arena's video replay system consists of a central equipment room, a main control room and an auxiliary control room. The facility supports five dedicated HD cameras via patching at numerous JBT panels throughout the arena. Based on the camera location, the operator can shoot in a studio or handheld configuration. A camera at center follow position, another at slash and handheld cameras under each basket capture the action on the court. A floating handheld camera gets the fans in the stands and behind the scenes. Connectivity to the truck dock is available for sending and receiving feeds to and from visiting trucks. The system also accommodates live broadcasts, provides replays to the in-house audience and plays promotional messages on the screen. The video production system generates video signals for the large center-hung displays and the in-house MATV system.
Equipment selection for the Matthew Knight Arena was carefully considered to provide the best images at a cost-effective price. Key equipment includes Hitachi and Sony cameras, Fujinon lenses, a Ross Video production switcher, a Grass Valley K2 Dyno slow-mo, a Chyron character generation, a Miranda multiviewer, a Yamaha audio mixer, a Clear-Com intercom and a Snell routing switcher. Terminal equipment is dominantly Ross, with additional conversion gear by AJA, fiber transport by Evertz and sync generation by Harris.