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Case Study: Matthew Knight Arena, Oregon

The Matthew Knight Arena is a 12,364-seat venue in Eugene, Oregon, and home to the University of Oregon Ducks men’s basketball team and women’s basketball and volleyball teams. Matthew Knight Arena was built to replace the legendary McArthur Court, which opened in January 1927.

One ritual that carries over from the days of McArthur Court is the pre-game huddle. Before coming out to the court, men’s and women’s teams join with fans to form a circle and chant at the ‘O-Hub’, a space outside the locker rooms where three hallways meet.

To digitally activate the O-Hub area, the University of Oregon Foundation, represented by project management firm Inici Group, engaged digital design and branding agency Downstream. Downstream proposed and subsequently integrated Planar CarbonLight CLI Flex pliable LED video wall displays that were custom designed into two curved LED installations, transforming a static opening between hallways into a visually immersive space.

The upper ring is a continuous, 360-degree Planar CarbonLight CLI Flex LED video wall with a 2.6mm pixel pitch (CLI2.6) that matches the O-Hub’s circular design. The lower ring is comprised of Planar CarbonLight CLI Flex LED video walls with a 1.9mm pixel pitch (CLI1.9) that are installed on the curved wall surfaces between the upper ring and the floor.

“Through cameras mounted in the O-Hub, the huddle can be broadcast out to the center-hung display,” said Trent Hays, Downstream director of engineering. Camera feeds from the arena can also be relayed back to the O-Hub, allowing players to see the crowd around them on the LED displays. It provides a powerful branding element.”

“It’s a very impressive way to take the court,” says Inici Group Senior Project Manager Dean Christensen.

In the off-season, the digitally enhanced O-Hub offers the basketball and volleyball programs another tool to help recruit talent. The installation can be operated in different modes; Downstream installed a content management system that allows the university to make updates as needed.

In ‘roster’ mode, recruits can see team players featured on the LED displays. “A coach can cycle through the roster and open up player profiles, highlighting each member,” Christensen said. “Another mode, called ‘Beyond Oregon’, focuses on players from the past, including what they went on to achieve after leaving the collegiate level.”

The Planar CarbonLight CLI Flex pliable LED video wall—which can bend into tight concave or convex curves—offered an adaptable solution for the rounded walls of the O-Hub; installation could be achieved without any structural modifications.”

“It’s a truly flexible product,” Hays said. “We were able to conform to the contours of the O-Hub walls—the modularity of the Planar CarbonLight CLI Flex allowed us to match the arc of the “O” logo without using faceted flat tiles. And, based on how the modules are designed, the custom framing system could be completely installed and wired prior to module installation.” The panels are a front-service solution that attaches magnetically to a customized sheet metal mounting frame, enabling wall-mounted, free-standing or hanging installations.

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