One Ralph Engelstad Arena Drive
Grand Forks, ND 58203
Phone Number: (701)777-4167
Fax Number: (701)777-6643
Ralph Engelstad Arena Website
Since opening its doors on Oct. 5, 2001, the new Ralph Engelstad Arena has become widely regarded as arguably the finest hockey facility in the world. The premiere home to college hockey, the Engelstad Arena has just about everything.
As soon as fans enter the doors, they know they are in the Fighting Sioux hockey arena.
Fans are greeted in the lobby by a pro shop featuring souveniers of all kinds. Natural light from the two-story high ceiling atrium illuminates the lobby area.
The lobby, also boasts a tribute to former Sioux greats. The NCAA championship trophies are on display, along with a historical photo selection and four video screens playing highlights from great Sioux seasons of hockey.
Throughout the arena are photos of the Sioux All-Americans. Interspersed are great historical photos, which show the progression of Sioux hockey from 1929 when two games were played to September 1946, when student John C. "Jamie" Jamieson was hired to coach the team and led his 19-player squad to a 7-6 record. The photos lead the fans up to the present day coaches and players.
When fans enter the arena, whether in the bowl or above the suite level, they find distinctive touches of luxury. There are no bleachers in this arena. Each seat is Sioux green leather and padded with cherry wood arms and a cup holder. Numerous refreshment and specialty stands also circle the main concourse and the upper level.
As fans look around the bowl, their eyes are attracted by the fascia ring, which is a television screen 900 feet long and three-feet high. It runs all the way around the arena, above the suite level, and can show fans anything from hockey footage to advertisements.
High above center ice, hanging from the rafters is a Daktronics scoreboard. The eight-screen video scoreboard shows game action and in-game information, among other things. The four top screens are 16 feet by 12 feet, the four bottom screens are 10 feet by 12 feet. The two million dollar scoreboard weighs in at 30,000 pounds.
Looking high into the rafters at the north and south ends of the arena, fans will see the symbols of what has created the incredible tradition of the Fighting Sioux hockey program. At the south end, the 11 WCHA Championship banners hang, and at the north end is UND's seven national championship banners. On the north toward the ceiling of the arena are the banners that represent the NHL teams that Sioux greats have played professionally. The teams of WCHA hang from the south wall.
Getting around the arena couldn't be easier. Located inside of each of the four towers adjacent to the ice rink are staircases. On the north and south ends of the arena, escalators move fans from ove level to another. In addition, there are four passenger elevators, on in each corner, each with a 5,000-pound capacity.
The arena was built for fan enjoyment and spectacular views of the game. The boards surrounding the rink are seamless, tapered glass that can flex up to three inches upon impact. These are the same boards that are found in the Xcel Energy Center, home of the NHL's Minnesota Wild. Each seat in the rink has exellent site lines, with views of the scoreboard and the entire sheet of ice.
The main rink has a 200 foot by 85 foot surface with seating for approximately 11,500 fans. The practice rink is an olympic-sized rink measuring 200 feet by 100 feet. The adjacent practice rink has seating for 400-500 spectators.
Opposing teams enter the arena at the staging area. This area, located at ice level, between the practice rink and the main ice surface, allows up to four buses to enter and park at one time.
The Sioux training room, located directly across from the locker room, includes an exam room, where X-rays can be taken. An underwater treadmill is located inside the training room. It can be used for therapy after injury and includes underwater cameras, which can accomodate just about the entire team.
The weight room, one of the most talked about rooms in the arena, is the envy of just about any team, in any sport, in the nation. The 10,000 square foot world-class facility has 10 platforms with 10 power stations, 24 weight machines, 30 circuit machines, and 30 aerobic pieces (bikes, treadmills, and stair climbers). The room has 20,000 pounds of weights in it. Included in the room is an 1,800 square foot plyo floor, spring mounted for plyometric workouts. Eight television monitors are placed throughout the room to take athletes step-by-step through their workout programs.