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Saturday Roundtable - Mackey Redesign?

What do we think?

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Saturday Roundtable where I come up with a question, ask the staff, and share their answers with all of you lovely people. Let’s take a look today shall we?

Listen folks, it’s the off-season. These roundtable posts can get sort of tough when there isn’t a lot going on. I wanted to ask you about this mock up of a newly designed Purdue basketball court.

Let me know your thoughts, and if you hate it what if any changes would you like to see on Mackey’s court?

Jumbo Heroes:

I absolutely love this. Maybe it’s not a popular opinion, I honestly don’t know where the fanbase falls on this, but I think it’s unique and would give Purdue a look that cannot be replicated. The key for me is getting the black right. You want it to be matte black in my opinion. There are a few colleges that have courts that you might call gimmicks but I would just call ugly. Oregon and their tree design is the first one that springs to my mind. That thing is hideous and makes any game more difficult to watch.

This court looks so clean and crisp. It would be unmatched in the NCAA. Do I think this will happen? Absolutely not. Would I love it if it happened? Absolutely.


Two letters: N-O. Mackey Arena already has a dark vibe in the stands and the court is the bright focal point for viewers. This would completely detract from that and don’t get me started on the “black on grey” mess. MAYBE if the court lines and names were gold could this be a fun mockup, but as of now, I hate this.

As for changes I would like to see, I really believe the court is pretty much perfect. I know it’s a boring take but it’s a clean look and doesn’t do too much (see Oregon’s court for an example of doing way too much). The one thing that could be added to spice up the court (train tracks) is incredibly difficult because they are essentially just lines and courts have standards for that kinda stuff. Now, I know there is a large group of people that want to see Purdue go back to the train logo on the court and that’s fine, but I feel like that’s more suitable for a throwback game (if that’s even possible due to the cost and install time of a court). In my opinion, Purdue could change up the court and invert the Motion P colors so that the inner portion is black and the trim is gold. It’s not the sexiest idea but it provides change while keeping the court complexity at a reasonable level.

PS. The one change I truly want to see on the court is bringing back the laser/light projection show that outlines all of the court lines during pregame. That show is just cool although if I recall, very expensive. Definitely worth it to me though. Here’s an example of a projection show.


I know most people don’t like colored floors and usually I’d agree, especially the monstrosity that Oregon has. But I absolutely love this. Mackey is one of the best college arenas but it really doesn’t have much that sets it apart. Yes, we have the paint crew and the best fans in the country but it’s pretty standard on design. The matte black floor could be a statement. A loud Mackey Arena on a blackout game, the contrast of the ball and floor. *Chefs kiss.


I love the idea of something like this for Purdue AS LONG as it doesn’t get off the rails like it has at other places. Oregon’s court is a hideous abomination while other schools try to get too ‘cute.’ Simple and clean can be effective and the anthracite/black court could have been really great.

However, recently at the Women’s FIBA Tourney, they unveiled an LED court and that would be something to see at the college level. Having that at your disposal for unique floor designs throughout the season to match promotions would be incredible. Imagine getting a logo at halfcourt for the Star Wars game a few seasons ago or having a white out and the floor being changed to match that. I’m always of the mind that if you can go big, go big. Purdue’s basketball program is obviously on an upward trajectory and sometimes programs like Purdue’s need to do big things to push them over that edge.

This wouldn’t be a projection onto the floor like we have seen at Florida, Kentucky, and even at Purdue for a one off. This is something that could enhance Purdue’s marketability with corporations and the fan experience.