The Huskies are working out at the new Matthew Knight Arena. While they worked, we got a quick tour of the place.
It’s big. It’s comfortable. It smells like a new car.
It seems to be loaded with all of the state-of-the-art touches you’d expect from an Oregon building with “Knight” in its name.
The footprint of the place, we are told, is four times the size of old Mac Court.
It has about 3,000 more seats. The number of bathrooms jumped from four to 18. The concourses grew from 10 feet across to 23. Concession stands multiplied from five to 15. The number of obstructed-view seats shrank from 1,950 to zero.
Interestingly, there are four suites, but they are called “bunker suites,” in that they are a place to gather before and after the game, but they afford no view into the arena.
Bottom line: New and shiny. But I’m not sure it moves everything else in the Pac-10 into the Ice Age. USC’s Galen Center and even the current renovated Hec Ed seem similarly comfortable for the vast majority of fans.
However, there’s far more for boosters here — and that could be a real advantage for fund-raising.
And we didn’t get a look at the home-team locker rooms — and that can be a real advantage for recruiting.
To that end, I’ll be back after practice with some reactions from the Huskies.