College, Featured Gallery / Jan 6, 2011 / 10:30 am

Oregon’s Crazy New Basketball Court by Tinker Hatfield: Love It or Hate It?

You may have seen the original images released a while back showing the Tinker Hatfield-designed basketball court at the University of Oregon‘s brand new Matthew Knight Arena, where, from a certain angle, a spectator gets the feeling that he/she is staring up at treetops from the forest floor.

Last night, the guy who runs the Twitter feed @NikeBlog.com posted some pictures of the floor and the arena after taking an exclusive tour of the building. I posted one of them on my Twitter account last night to see what kind of response it got and there was no middle ground – only extremes of love and hate. Check out the pics and let us know what you think…

For what it’s worth, I actually love the court design. A lot of times I tend to find myself siding with the “basketball purist” segment of the basketball world (I’ve always thought Indiana’s Assembly Hall design is one of the best in all of college ball), but instead of just a crazy design, this one has some real thought put into it.

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  • NC

    There are so many “pure” college basketball courts out there … good for them for daring to be different.


    kinda just looks like an unkept old gym floor.
    nice idea tho.

  • Kevin

    I’m sure it will be like “oh yeah duh” moment when yall tell me, but what does the symbol under the O in the last picture stand for?

  • jimbo

    yeah what’s the symbol that underlines the centercourt emblem??? and from faraway it looks like a bunch of paint spilled but i bet at the arena it looks tightttt

  • karizmatic

    It looks like a worn out gym. I don’t know if I like it, but maybe I just don’t get it…does it look like a regular floor up close? Because that’s what the image seems to be showing. I don’t know about this one. I don’t think I’d like it if Ih had to watch the team actually play on that.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Ha a PC post – crazy!

    I like it. I can see some downside, but I like it.

    So I’ll say that I’m in the middle.

    Now if only Aaron Brooks would get healthy…

  • https://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Oregon is so advance. Next level ish all the time. Uniforms in football, court in basketball and no telling what is next. Loving it and wishing more schools would be more creative with what they do.

    I mean if a football team can have a “blue” field then why not this?

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    @Poppi Gee

    I agree about Oregon being on that next level but they lucked out by having Phil Knight as an alum. Not many schools have the luxury of the generous support of a sports-oriented billionaire who loves throwing money at his school.

  • That’s What’s Up

    I would be talkin’ smack telling my teammates “I’m gonna cram it from the top of the Fir tree”

  • http://www.weallscheme.com Jeff Chen

    Court’s dope. I like it

  • NC

    Throwing it down from the foliage.

  • Nick

    I don’t know if it’s just the distance the photos were taken from, but it kind of just looks like a water main burst and damaged part of the court. Maybe it’s different in person…

  • derik

    too bad Oregon suck at bball

  • Mt. Pleasant

    The link in the article has a clearer picture of the through the treetops thing. From the article the wierd symbol is:

    The Stonehenge logo is actually a Japanese culture symbol for a sacred place, according to Todd Van Horne, in his video on the nikeblog.com site. And it’s cool that they’re honoring Phil Knight’s memories with his son, although I don’t think most people seeing this new palace will know that when they first eye the center court logo.

    Usually I like traditional floors and I really liked it when I thought it just looked like a worn out floor. Now that I see the treetop thing I think I still like it.

  • Knicksfan84

    They needed to darken the trees to bring out the effect more. It’s a good idea, probably works best in video games, but in the real world it just looks dinky and dirty.

    You know what would be cool…

    St. John’s University out in Queens, NY making their homecourt look like a NYC blacktop courts. Yall from NYC know what I’m talking about.

  • http://www.glidehoyas.blogspot.com Kent

    Check this out, I did this on my blog back in October or November LOL!

  • http://www.glidehoyas.blogspot.com Kent
  • QQ

    LOVE IT.

    What freaking balls to be so different.

  • SayItAintSo

    Hate it.

    It looks alright when you’re close enough to realize what its supposed to be but it is otherwise just too gimmicky.

    I think having such contrast on certain parts of the floor may even serve as a subtle distraction at times. It isn’t very practical. Identifying the lighter three point line when it intersects with the different shades of tree shadows. I’m just saying when you’re balling, if you’re around that area looking for the three point line as quickly as possible. A quick look down before you fire away and it could still be ambiguous. There is a reason courts have been designed with continuous patterns and colors throughout the whole court for ages!

    “The Stonehenge logo is actually a Japanese culture symbol for a sacred place”

    I’m glad Mr. Knight is trying to make a tribute to his son but something so personal has no place on a public school’s hardwood and if you don’t have that back knowledge (most people) it just looks stupid.

    I will say that the jumbo tron is absolutely sick! I love that ish! The big yellow O on the bottom coming down to the green O at center court. Looking like the players will be quaking for Scotty to beam they azzez up! You can keep that!

    I appreciate that Oregon can get innovative and really push the envelope with sports apparel designing and all the sports glam for their programs thanks to Papa Knight but this one will go down as a fail in my book.

    I’m a Husky and I hate Ducks. Zeros are some of the most offensive and tasteless fans in the Pac 10/12. I know they have some good people but they have some REALLY BAD APPLES in that bunch that spoil it for me.

  • SayItAintSo

    WTH! Did I just get censored out?

  • word

    It looks like a big ‘ol bleach stain!!!

  • KCL

    Hate it looks like someone splooged on the court just ugly like everything Nike University does with their million stupid football uniforms and general tastelessness. Always trying to be cool and new and just end up making themselves look dumb and a joke, sadly a great academic university but nobody will recognize that cuz of their own foolishness other colleges must be laughing

  • kh

    Love it

  • iLL MAGO

    It looks like the aftermath of a Duck the size of Godzilla that ripped the roof off the arena with its beak and took a massive acidic dump right in the center of the court. SPLAT!

  • dave

    loving dat court, good for them, something fresh, unique.

  • b

    i dont really know what to make of it, but i like it. one thing i enjoy about baseball is that it is the only sport played at non-standard venues. i am all for giving your home space some personality and nuance, even when the sport doesn’t naturally lend itself to such.

    this is my favorite college hoop court: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Gymnasium_%28Vanderbilt_University%29

    elevated court, benches under the goals, etc.

  • b$


  • Diveik

    I’m so tired of Oregon. The tackiest athletics program in America. What’s their problem, we get it you’re “special”. I’m so over these losers. JUST GO AWAY PLEASE!

  • go dawgs

    This is one of those undertakings where the concepts in the planning meetings and the drawings on the computer came out a lot better than the finished result. This looks like one of my home improvement projects where I was sanding cabinet doors or something. I don’t care for Oregon and it’s “style”, if that’s what you want to call it, but I can appreciate the concept of what they were trying to do here.