The Ralph Engelstad Arena
written by Ryan Boldrey
The 104 million dollar hockey arena gives new meaning to the words state of the art. Sporting 48 top of the line
luxury suites, no bleachers and all of the 11,738 seats done up in cherry wood and padded in Sioux green
leather, private donor, and former Sioux goaltender from the early fifties, Ralph Engelstad held nothing back at
making this arena one of America’s finest. With CONTROVERSY at hand in whether or not the school would be
allowed to continue using the nickname of the Fighting Sioux, Englestad had the logo placed in over 2000 places
in the building, including in the seats, throughout the locker rooms, on the outside of the building and in the
granite of the concourses and even had it placed in the contract with the school that if they were to change their
nickname and logo they would no longer be able to use the arena.
Aside from the ever presence of the Fighting Sioux logo, when one walks into The Ralph
they will be walking on nothing but marble and granite throughout the entirety of the
arena, admiring immediately upon entrance the seven NCAA trophies they have won in
D1 hockey, which as any Sioux fan will let you know is more than any other school since
they won their first title in the late 50’s, and second only to The University of Michigan
overall (who at nine titles to their credit won six of the first nine NCAA championships
overall and only three since 1956). One can also watch highlights from some of the great
teams of UND’s past on one of the four video screens in the lobby and admire photos of
the 17 Hobey Baker Finalists, second only to Michigan State University’s 18 finalists, or
shop for souvenirs in the fan shop.
|Hanging above the ice are the Fighting Sioux's seven hockey championship banners.
Once arriving in their luxury box or leather green seat in one of the two bowls, any fan
will be welcomed by a great sight line of the ice with no obstructed views anywhere in the
arena, a view at one end of the ice of the seven NCAA championship banners and on
the other end a view of the eleven WCHA conference championship banners earned by
the Fighting Sioux. On top of that, every fan will be able to enjoy highlights, replays, and
out of town scores on the gigantic 2 million dollar
30,000 pound scoreboard that hangs above center
ice featuring four 12’ by 16’ screens and four 10’ by
12’ screens, one of each on each side of the
scoreboard, the larger screen above the smaller.
Fans can also enjoy all the like on the three foot tall
screen that surrounds the entire rink at the base of
the second bowl. Making the arena accessible to
everyone, if fans are seated in the second bowl or
one of the suites they can take the stairs, the
escalator, or the elevator to their seats.
Adjacent to the arena is an Olympic sized practice
rink with seats for another 400-500 spectators to
observe practice sessions. In the Sioux locker room
there is an underwater treadmill that has cameras
below water level to monitor progress of injured and
rehabbing players. There is also a whirlpool that can
fit virtually the entire team. Not to mention one of the
largest weight rooms in the nation, for any sport, is
also in house.
Prior to the opening of The Ralph in 2001, The
Fighting Sioux played at The Old Ralph from
1972-2001 and previously at The Barn, where it was
unheated and always said to be colder inside than
out, from 1946-1972.
|A cherry wood stadium seat padded in
green leather featuring the Fighting Sioux
|Outside the stadium stands a Fighting Sioux statue.
|11,738 seats, all with great views.