More than 6,000 individuals were estimated to have attended one of the three arena open houses the athletics department hosted in April, with the possibility of another open house in the near future. That enthusiasm added to the interest from prospective season-ticket holders.
The new arena is targeted for a December 2010 completion.
Before the end of May, appointments will be made with Legacy Fund contributors as well as anyone who has submitted a $100 non-refundable deposit to purchase seats in the new arena for any of the three university intercollegiate sports that will serve as the arena's primary tenants. Those personal seat selection appointments are anticipated to run from late-June through mid-August.
The $100 deposits serve as a down payment toward the purchase of season tickets in addition to guaranteeing fans the opportunity to be included in the personal seat selection process. Only a single $100 deposit is required in advance regardless of the number of seats an individual account holder intends to purchase.
Customers’ seat selection appointments will be arranged in order of their current donation level and consecutive years of basketball season ticket purchases, although 4,700 seats will be available to the general public for men’s basketball games that will require no Duck Athletic Fund donation.
Fans who have made initial deposits will first receive an appointment letter through the mail in the next two weeks outlining the time for their personal appointment, which will be followed up with a phone call to verify their appointment time.
To date, close to 1,700 deposit accounts have been established from individuals and corporations who have indicated an interest in purchasing anywhere from one to as many as 24 tickets per account, already accounting for an estimate of more than 4,800 men’s basketball reserved season tickets. That doesn’t include all of the Legacy Fund contributors who have provided the foundation for the financing of the arena. With seven months remaining until the arena’s opening, more than 8,200 men’s basketball seats already have been accounted for, including student seating, visiting team seats, and UO faculty and staff.
Approximately 170 accounts were established with the intent of purchasing season tickets for more than one sport. Among the account holders who indicated an interest in buying tickets solely for one program, close to 1,500 of them designated a priority for men’s basketball tickets, 176 for women’s basketball tickets and eight accounts solely for women’s volleyball reserved seats.
The Ducks’ women’s volleyball program is not expected to begin play in the new arena until the fall of 2011.
The breakdown of deposits by sport does not reflect the total number of tickets that will be reserved because a single $100 deposit serves as a seat selection reservation for an unlimited number of tickets for all three programs. That also applies to the number of ticket commitments for any of the three sports until tickets are actually purchased during the seat selection process. A more precise number of season ticket reservations won’t be known until the priority window for purchasing tickets has closed for all three sports, which likely will not be until the end of this summer.
University officials are pleased with the response from Oregon fans, particularly when taking into consideration a sluggish economy.
“Interjecting the fans’ involvement in the seat selection process not only represents more than seven years of hard work coming to fruition but also decades of dreams becoming a reality,” according to Oregon’s Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director Jim Bartko, who has served as a liaison between the university and the arena project since its inception. “It has been the passion and enthusiasm of a multitude of faithful Oregon supporters that created the unmatched environment of Mac Court and will mold the legacy of Matthew Knight Arena.”
One of the key components of the financial model for the construction was the securing of $130 million in Legacy Fund contributions prior to the arena’s scheduled December completion. To date, the fund already has exceeded $129 million in pledges and donations seven months prior to its tentative opening.
Groundbreaking for the construction took place on Feb. 7, 2009, and was initiated with the help of the lead Legacy Fund gift of $100 million by Phil and Penny Knight.
In addition, contributors are nearing capacity for the McArthur Club requiring a minimum men’s basketball donation of $25,000 (spread over five years) towards the Legacy Fund. McArthur Club membership, which includes access to the exclusive club underneath the arena seating bowl, boasts of 1,165 donors towards its maximum capacity of 1,200.
Up to this point, prospective season-ticket holders have merely had to indicate the number of seats they are thinking of purchasing, with no ticket or DAF commitments required until the seat selection process gets underway. Until this year, men’s basketball season ticket sales have not started until August when the home schedule has been completed. Due to the length of time required for the personal seat selection process, this year’s renewal started earlier.
Upon the conclusion of the personal seat selection process, a second ticket drive will begin, however ticket purchasers will not be assured the opportunity to personally select their arena seats following the conclusion of the current selection process.
Additional fans interested in taking part in the selection process or acquiring more information should call 1-800-WEBFOOT or visit MACtoMATT.net.
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