Football uniforms are easy to change, and the University of Oregon does it often. But the school's new basketball court is another matter.

Kilkenny Floor at Matthew Knight Arena debuted Thursday night on Fox Sports Net, but the television audience didn't fully appreciate the floor's unique design, which features brown and tan evergreen trees protruding toward center court from every boundary. That's because glare on the floor caused by a ribbon board on the arena's upper level washed out much of the hardwood artistry, or at least served as a "headache-inducing" distraction. Wrote Jeff Eisenberg of, "Add in the fact that the ribbon board changed color from white to yellow to green to blue every few seconds, and it made watching the game feel like staring into a strobe light."

Other reviews were similarly prickly. "Oregon's Court Glare a Real Pine for Some," stated "Oregon's New Basketball Court May Cause Retina Damage," claimed SB Nation. A poll about the court at sees "It's obnoxious and hard to look at" leading "It's different and cool" by 5 percentage points.

For 12,364 fans inside the new $227 million arena, a 35-minute opening ceremony was followed by a 68-62 Pac-10 victory by the last-place Ducks over Southern Cal. Not too hard on the eyes.

Paul Steinbach is Senior Editor of Athletic Business.
I own a design firm in the sports category, so maybe that makes me a little biased, but i totally applaud the graphic design of the new U of Oregon court. The thinking is totally Design Forward and it very appropriately draws its true inspiration from the environment of the region. How much more fitting can it get than that?

Further, I think and hope it is the first in a long line of playing surfaces that will follow a 'road less traveled' approach, as schools and sports teams strain to establish a particularly singular brand image. Coming from the home of the well-dressed Ducks, this courageous move should be no surprise. It's a primer in Great Branding 101.
I agree with the comment above by Greg F. I own a marketing and branding company, and Oregon does an excellent job of both. It's great to see a little courage on the part of a public institution with regard to the face they present to the public.

Oregon is a unique school when it comes to the look they've established. They are seemingly fearless with their football uniforms and are continuing that fearlessness throughout their athletic program, the Matthew Knight Arena being the latest example. We should celebrate this kind of maverick attitude instead of complaining about it.

And finally, ribbon boards are an integral part of today's stadiums and arenas. They aren't going away. Maybe a new floor wax is in order to reduce the TV glare?
I too am in the Sports Facility design business and like most 'pure' designers (see above comments)functionality doesn't matter. As long as it looks cool and defines a 'brand image' Well, then it must be great. Yes, Frank Lloyd wrights designs were 'maverick' for his time, but talk to someone who lived in one and they will tell you a completely different story. Get a clue guys if is doesn't work it's not that great then is it? And is seems given the feedback it doesn't work. Leave it to the marketing guy to suggest a new floor wax might solve the problem.
Like the floor. do not quite understand how in a multi-million dollar facility a problem like potential glare could be overlooked by the architect / engineering firms? i am familiar with our local arena, built in 1960 that had that problem (sun) and they put up curtains. Maybe not in the 227 Million budget?
A 'polaroid' filter on the camera lens should elminate most of the reflections from the floor.
This floor sucks. It really distracts from the game. They need to put it back like it was.