It was an experience nobody that attended a game at McArthur Court would ever forget. When the crowd got loud and raucous, the old arena would actually shake from the ground up. Sitting in the upper levels, you could feel the suspensions swaying. Down in the Pit Crew, the stands, and even the floor itself, would rock with movement. There were no impressive LED jumbotrons, light shows, luxury suites, or state-of-the-art sound systems. It was just an old arena that received all of its energy from the fans themselves.
Now, of course, the Ducks play in an arena that would be more expected of a university that prides itself on cutting-edge technology and eye-popping facilities. It can still be a rocking venue, but it’s not quite the same.
So while Matthew Knight Arena welcomes Oregon’s indoor teams as well as a slew of other entertainment spectacles, what’s old Mac Court doing while it sits quietly on University Ave across from the old cemetery as it always has?
Interestingly enough, although the outside no longer presents itself the way it used to, the inside is pretty much the same place the Ducks left in 2011. All of the same seats and stands are exactly as they were. The walls and borders still have the same art and emblems on them, and the floor is still as shiny as ever, emblazoned with “The Pit” logos.
It serves as a University venue for Physical Education and recreation. It can actually be used as an event venue for specific prices if one decides to charge admission. But as far as UO athletics goes it has remained relatively untouched.
So it begs the question, if the old building is still up to par, why not utilize it now and then for Oregon sports?
Having a “throwback” game once a year for volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball could be a very fun venture as it would reignite the old atmosphere for a spell, allowing generations that attended games there to revel in nostalgia and the younger generations would get to experience it for themselves.
Even perhaps a viewing party or a pep rally for old times sake? Sure there would be those who would rather utilize the more modern comforts of MKA, but there would probably be just as many who would love a chance to pack the old arena like they did decades ago.
Obviously there’s time, money, and other considerations that would have to be made. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
But if ol’ Mac Court still stands, why not utilize it a bit more?