Phil Knight adding football operations facility at Oregon, Chip Kelly will NOT have personal hot tub

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One of the big stories of the day has been the new football operations facility that is being built in Eugene at the University of Oregon.  Like many of their buildings, it is being donated completely by Phil Knight.  The University has leased the land to Knight, who is developing this $68 million facility and in turn, he will hand over the keys to the University upon completion.  The University is then responsible for the operating cost, as outlined completely by Knight himself.



“Phil Knight specified the number of employees, the number of tutors, their educational qualifications, how many computers would be available, how often the computers would be replaced — down to the smallest detail, really, of what a high class facility it would be,” UO economics professor Bill Harbaugh said.

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And what is a “high class facility”?  Well, the details that have been reported so far are pretty impressive:

  • Two sky bridge-linked, black metal and glass buildings on top of an underground parking lot
  • A 2,285-square-foot players lounge
  • A 25,000 square foot weight room
  • A 150-seat dining hall
  • 124 climate controlled lockers with iPod docks
  • Advanced video editing and distribution center
  • Defensive and Offensive conference rooms
  • Two movie theaters
  • A war room modeled after the White House war room
  • An Oregon football museum
  • Showers with customized Oregon green shampoo holders
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    Much of what has been said of this design closesly resembles these renderings from a December 2010 post on Portland Architecture in which the architects working with Knight, ZGF Architects, talked about this 130,000 square foot football center.  Praising Chip Kelly for his vision of what training players should be, they described in detail what would be going into what they then referred to as the “Casanova Center Expansion”.

    The “war room”, mentioned above, would have a long 17 seat table and a buffet on hand, for those long strategic meetings.  The dining hall and cafeteria would be available for all student athletes.  The many class rooms would be up on the higher floors, providing privacy for the optimal experience in study.  The Oregon Football Museum would have its own curator along with a secretary, both of which were called out by Knight’s guidelines for operation of the facility.

    The entire facility will sit on top of an underground parking garage and, as described by The Register Guard, will sit on the north and east sides of the Casanova Center and will be 6 stories high.  A look at a 45 degree view of the current Casanova Center at Autzen Stadium shows construction that clearly imitates that of the renderings from the December 2010 post.

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    This is just another feather in the cap of the Oregon Nike hat worn by Phil Knight, who also has an athletic building in his name, the library named for his mother, the law school named for his father and the basketball arena is named after his late son Matthew, who died in a scuba accident.  Knight has retained the naming rights to this facility as well.

    What will NOT be part of this facility, as widely reported today, is a personal hot tub area with water proof video viewing for head coach Chip Kelly.  @GoDucks shot down that claim earlier today, but has made no other comment on the building amenities.

    Whatever the finished product, though, you can count on it being high class and attracting the nations most premier student athletes.


    Founder and Editor of ThunderTreats.com and one-third of the Thunder Treats Podcast with @DiNunz and Lydell. Graduate of The Kent State University and lover of Cleveland Sports. Also, I only watch half hour TV shows because ain’t nobody got time for hour long programming.

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