The Time Was Right

University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer announced today that Phil and Penny Knight have donated $100 million to create the Oregon Athletics Legacy Fund. The gift is the single largest donation to an Oregon university ever.

It is expected that the Oregon Basketball Arena, a project that was at the top of Frohnmayer's capitol list will soon be able to start construction. The project is thought to cost in the neighborhood of $200 million as associated costs have driven up the price tag by about $80 million.

While the donation wasn't specifically earmarked for the arena, Frohnmayer feels it does make moving forward on construction a much safer enterprise.

Frohnmayer anticipates an additional $50 million is needed from donors to realize the funds necessary to aggressively begin arena construction. An announcement that the project construction will begin for the arena is just now "months" away according to the University President.

When asked why Mr. and Mrs. Knight made their donation now, Frohnmayer said that the Knights felt, "the time was right."

(Cam Bloch and Marty Martindale contributed to this report.)

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