Matthew Knight Arena

Matthew Knight Arena at night. (File/Emerald)

The board of trustees will meet on Tuesday, Dec. 4, according to the agenda for the public meeting released this week. The full board will meet on Tuesday following a series of committee meetings held on Monday.

Proposed enhancements to Matthew Knight Arena

At the meeting, the board will discuss and vote on a lease that would authorize improvements to be donated to Matthew Knight Arena.

According to the board documents, the improvements will come in the form of a “graphics/visual refresh,” as well as the construction of an “extension/office complex.”

The graphics, the documents claim, will “provide MKA with a fresh, attractive, and innovative look for our current and prospective student-athletes.”

The office complex, according to the documents, will be three stories and located between the arena’s practice courts and Villard Street. Each floor will be designated for use by the men’s basketball, women’s basketball and volleyball staff members, which currently reside at the Casanova Center near Autzen Stadium.

“The relocation of these staffs to the new MKA office complex will make them more accessible to their student-athletes throughout the day, not just during practice, and will positively impact their efficiency, productivity, and the ability to build a championship program culture,” the board document says.

According to the lease, the improvements would be made by PHIT, TOO, LLC, a private construction firm funded by Phil Knight, and donated to the university at no cost at the end of the lease.

The same company has given similar donations in the form of improvements to Autzen Stadium. A similar agreement is currently underway with PHIT, LLC (a different company with the same ownership and purpose), to renovate Hayward Field, according to that company’s lease.

University spokesperson Molly Blancett declined to comment on the plans prior to the board meeting, but other board documents indicate the construction could begin in December 2018 and run through the end of 2020. There’s no indication as to how the community will be impacted by the project through road closures or construction noise.

Other topics on the agenda

At the meeting, the board will also discuss a licensing agreement with Fanatics, a sports apparel and fan gear company. The proposed contract indicates the agreement will earn the university at least $21.5 million in licensing fees over 10 years.

Board materials indicate that revenue from the agreement will be divided evenly between athletics and the university’s “education and general” fund, which faces rising costs for the next year.

The board will also consider accepting a gift of beachfront property in Bandon on the Oregon coast, just south of Coos Bay. The proposal indicates the property could be used for classes in Biology, Anthropology, Earth Science and Environmental Science, as well as by the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.

Aside from those decisions, the board will hear a number from a number of university leaders, including updates on the tuition-setting process and the Knight Campus.

The meeting is open to the public and begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4. It will be held in the Ford Alumni Center’s Giustina Ballroom.

The Emerald will continue to report on these stories as they develop.

Zack Demars is an administration reporter for the Daily Emerald. He's into politics, people, candy corn and the Oxford comma. You should send him tips, pictures of your dog and your favorite vegetarian recipes at [email protected]


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