Ralph Engelstad Arena turns 10

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Ralph Engelstad Arena turns 10

Ralph Engelstad Arena opened its doors to the public on Oct. 5, 2001 when the UND men’s hockey team hosted rival University of Minnesota. Since the grand opening of the facility, ten seasons of UND men’s hockey have been played, dozens of concerts have filled the stands and amazing memories have been made.

In The Beginning

Given Ralph Engelstad’s passion for the UND men’s hockey program, the Engelstads felt the most effective way to aid in the growth of the community and University after the flood of 1997 would be to donate one of the most spectacular sporting facilities ever constructed. This arena would help give the UND men’s hockey program a strong competitive advantage while serving as an economic engine for the region. The arena was set up to be self-supporting and not a liability to UND. With all of its net operating profits dedicated to the UND Athletic Department, the Engelstads set up a vehicle to not only elevate the men’s hockey program, but also to provide support to the entire athletic department.

The $104 million donation has served as the anchor to the ever-developing Bronson Property which continues to add new businesses, University facilities, and housing developments surrounding the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Ralph’s vision was to construct a facility which would attract national and international events, help build upon community spirit, benefit the community in a positive fiscal manner, and help to bring continued exposure to promote the greater Grand Forks community and UND as vibrant areas of excellence in the Midwest.

After Ten Years

Today, Ralph Engelstad Arena proudly recognizes the facility’s tenth anniversary. In ten years, Ralph Engelstad Arena has hosted over 4.4 million guests who have attended events at the facility. Jody Hodgson, Ralph Engelstad Arena general manager states, “Ralph Engelstad Arena will continue to work to bring in world-class events, spur the economy of the region, and support the University of North Dakota Athletic Department in its endeavors. It will strive to fulfill the vision of Mr. Engelstad and will continue to be a good partner in the community.”

To officially kick-off the tenth anniversary, Ralph Engelstad Arena is hosting the Ice Breaker men’s ice hockey tournament this Friday and Saturday featuring Boston College, Michigan State University, Air Force and UND. The tournament begins at 4:07 p.m. on Friday when Boston College takes on Michigan State University followed by UND vs. Air Force at 7:37 p.m. Tickets are still available for each day of the tournament.

Ten Years By The Numbers

  • Facility was constructed in 22 months start to finish
  • 80,525 cocktail shrimp have been served on suite level
  • Over 93,000 gallons of Diet Coke served from concession stands
  • Over 29,000 pucks sold through the Sioux Shop
  • Over 28,000 people from nonprofit organizations have worked over 84,000 hours to help clean the facility after events
  • 6,849 bottles of wine served on suite level
  • 17 players who played in this facility have gone on to play at least one NHL game
  • Over 8,800 total sticks have been used in the last 10 years. If laid end to end would go around the main concourse approx. 37 times (just over nine miles)
  • Over 6,900 foam fingers purchased through the Sioux Shop
  • Over 72,000 hats purchased through the Sioux Shop
  • Over 330,000 plastic glasses used on suite level
  • Over 7,000 W2’s submitted for event staff
  • Over 12,000 lapel pins purchased through the Sioux Shop
  • 61,410 pinwheels (role-up appetizer) ordered on suite level

Chris Semrau

Director of Events/Media Relations, Ralph Engelstad Arena

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