Oregon To Display Model of Potenial Arena

EUGENE – A model of a new basketball arena that the University of Oregon hopes to unveil in the near future will be on display beginning Wednesday in the second-floor lobby of the Casanova Center with the hopes of generating renewed interest among the general public and prospective financial contributors, according to the Ducks' Director of Athletics Pat Kilkenny.

The architectural rendition was constructed last spring as a means to elicit financial support for the project among private donors and re-energize discussions of a new arena. One of UO President Dave Frohnmayer's charges to Kilkenny has been to elevate private support for the arena and guide the project to completion.

Kilkenny emphasized that the model, which also includes a practice court as well as other amenities, is an example of what the proposed arena could look like and that no definitive decisions have been made.

The model was based on projections of an arena that would include 12,500 seats and cover 405,000 square feet. As of May 2006, the estimated cost of a facility covering those parameters fell in the neighborhood of $170 million.

However since the development of the model, one element of the original project -- the academic learning center -- has been been targeted for another location.

"This project remains a priority for the athletics department and the university in terms of the continued financial self-sufficiency of the Oregon athletics department, but it is important that the scope of any arena does not jeopardize the financial feasibility of its construction and operation," Kilkenny said. "At the same time, construction costs are not becoming any cheaper."

Kilkenny added that cost estimates cannot be finalized until the scope of the project is determined, which will be dependent on the success of all fund-raising efforts.

The construction of a new facility to replace 80-year-old McArthur Court would house the Ducks' men's and women's basketball teams as well as possibly women's volleyball and wrestling, and would be funded entirely through private contributions and self-financed bonds.

The university completed the purchase of the Williams' Bakery site on the eastern edge of campus in February 2005 as a preferred location for a new arena.

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