Sunday, May 04, 2008

Phil Knight on Arena Financing

More from today's Register-Guard newspaper. Click on the title for a link to the full news story.

Knight said that financing the arena through state-backed bonds that will be in effect insured by the Athletics Legacy Fund created by his $100 million pledge, rather than through a single-purpose gift from him, was proposed by UO senior associate athletic director Jim Bartko, who saw the University of California consider similar approaches while he worked there, and by UO director of athletics Pat Kilkenny.

“Basically, what they’re doing is trying to not just manage a (single) project, the basketball arena; they’re trying to manage the entire balance sheet of the athletic department,” Knight said.

Knight said he checked with a trusted “financial adviser … “and he said, ‘You’re stupid not to have done it that way 10 years ago.’ So it isn’t any kind of scam or unseemly approach to things.”