Lack of Events at Matthew Knight Arena

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EUGENE, Ore. — For two and a half years Matthew Knight Arena has been the home of Ducks basketball and other athletics events.

And, it’s hosted some big name musicians. But some people are wondering why there aren’t more events booked during the summer.

“Typically they don’t have as many events in the summer time when especially concerts play amphitheaters and festivals,” said Mike Duncan, Senior Associate Athletic Director Events and Operations.

Once it hits summer, the University of Oregon campus gets a little quieter. And Matthew Knight arena event planning staff say that’s one reason you don’t see as many concerts and shows.

“If we’re looking at events that are going to attract university students, the summer is obviously not a time when you want to bring those to Eugene,” Duncan said.

Duncan says entertainers aren’t looking to play indoors either because the artists know they won’t always sell out crowds during the summer months.

“The arena touring business is more focused on probably the months probably October through April,” Duncan said.

As for numbers, the nearly $230 million building isn’t necessarily breaking even. This year the projected costs to maintain the building were just over $10 million. The actual revenue was over $7 million. But Duncan says it takes a while for an arena of this size to gain momentum.

“One thing that you’ll see is that the more that the building gets established in the touring industry, the more acts that play here, the more momentum we get. Once somebody has been here they can say, ‘Hey, this was a great building. We did really well,'” Duncan said.

The arena sees about 12 to 20 shows and concerts a year. Events planning leaders KEZI 9 News spoke with also mentioned that basketball games and other sporting events are its main source of revenue.

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