Matthew Knight Arena event calendar leaves fans wondering, "where are the events?"
EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- While Autzen Stadium is active for the football season, just across the river the University of Oregon's other marquee venue - the Matthew Knight Arena - has been pretty quiet, leaving many people wondering where are the events?
January 2013 officially marks the two-year birthday for the Matthew Knight Arena. In that time, the arena has hosted some pretty big shows including musicians Elton John, Miranda Lambert and Brad Paisley, sporting events like WWE Wrestling and the Monster Jam monster truck show and entertainment events like Cirque du Soleil.
While those events have come and gone with crowds and success, the arena’s future event calendar is almost barren beyond the university’s own sporting events.
Cirque du Soleil is slated to perform six shows at the arena next month, but beyond that, no events are listed on the arena’s website past October 2012. View the calendar at the following link: http://www.matthewknightarena.com/.
NewsSource 16 attempted to reach the University of Oregon Athletic Department on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, to figure out if there were truly no events, or if the calendar just had not been updated recently. Our call was not returned.
Looking at the upcoming events billboard in front of the arena, advertisements for the upcoming Cirque de Soleil show 'Quidam' and multiple advertisements for Oregon volleyball, Oregon football the Oregon Junior Duck Club could be seen on screen.
Earlier in the year, though, the department said its outside entertainment act revenue was far less than originally projected.
A local sports commission, Eugene Cascades and Coast Sports recently started to help rope in sporting events, conventions and more. The group says that Matthew Knight Arena is still young and it may be a bit longer before it's used night after night.
“The nature of booking conventions, conferences and events is that a lot of them are booked two and three years out, so a lot of the fruits of our labor won't be seen until further down the road,” says Lisa Lawton, communications coordinator for Eugene Cascades and Coast Sports.
“We've certainly made a name for our community in the track and field world and that has really provided a catalyst for us to get the attention of many other sporting groups,” says Lawton.
Eugene Cascades and Coast Sports representatives say the sports commission designation has allowed them to plan and participate in more organizational events as well.
For the first time ever, commission representatives will head to Detroit for a convention on sports teams later this year; they'll also head to Colorado to talk to US Hockey and US Running organizers.
According to Lawton, the arena is also getting a lot attention from faith-based groups. Last April, it hosted a large scale youth conference. Come April 2013, Christian author Beth Moore will also give a talk at the arena.