Matthew Knight Arena opens on fiery notes
Ducks junior guard Garrett Sim became the answer to a trivia question for the ages on Thursday night when he scored the first bucket at the grand opening of the University of Oregon's Matthew Knight Arena.
Sim's short jump shot came after an opening ceremony, which featured fireworks, shooting flames, the marching band and dances from the cheer squad.
Also during the ceremony, Nike co-founder Phil Knight, whose generosity, along with that of his wife, Penny, got the project rolling, introduced family and friends. Phil Knight called special attention to the family of his late son, Matthew Knight. Matthew Knight died in a scuba diving accident in El Salvador in 2004. Phil Knight also recognized UO officials who played a key role in the construction process.
“This building for me isn’t just cement and glass and hardwood and concrete,” Knight told the crowd of 12,364. “There’s emotion in this building, and I hope it carries forward. But I hope the main emotion that carries forward is joy."
With the talking out of the way, the fireworks began. The Duck made a grand entrance, dropping from the new building's rafters and sparking a pyrotechnics display. The Duck hoopsters then followed up the festivities on the floor with a 68-62 win over USC.
See first-hand that there really isn't a bad seat in the building by checking out this short video shot with an iPhone from the arena's upper level.