Buzzer sounds Saturday for historic Mac Court

Buzzer sounds Saturday for historic Mac Court »Play Video
What you talking about, Duck fans?

EUGENE, Ore. -- Bob Wren played basketball for the Ducks back in the 1940s and said he'll never forget the first time he walked into "The Pit."

"It was just so gigantic when I first saw it, I couldn't believe it," said Wren (below).

His daughter Kim Evans is with the University of Oregon Alumni Association.

"I went to the 1949 game against UCLA," she said. "At that time UCLA was number one in the country. And the energy and the feeling that you get, it still gives me goosebumps -- because we beat them."

Whether they call it McArthur Court, Mac Court or The Pit, anyone who's been inside -- from future presidents to the King himself -- knows this arena it's something special.

Built in 1926 and payed for by the student body of the University of Oregon, Mac Court has been the home to some of the most classic Duck games by teams dubbed the Kamikaze Kids and the Tall Firs.

Mac Court has hosted some of the town's most noteworthy events, like speeches by then-presidential contenders Bill Clinton in 1992 and Barack Obama in 2008.

Elvis, the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan have performed here, and the 9,000 fans who pack the place to the rafters consistently rock the house, giving Mac Court a reputation as one of the toughest places to play in the nation.

Evans hopes the University finds a way to reuse the arena.

That's exactly what UO administrators are trying to do.

"We're into our second year of research on that location," said Chris Ramey, associate vice president for campus planning.

Ramey said there are three options for The Pit's future.

  • Re-use it
  • Re-use part of for classroom space
  • Demolish Mac Court and build something new

"We are so scarce on resources we simply can't afford to close it up and throw moth balls in there and look at it every once in a while," he said. "We really have to make it useful for us."

Ramey said they'll know more about their next step this June.