11 new things you'll notice at UND home hockey games this season
GRAND FORKS — Ralph Engelstad Arena begins Season No. 19 at 7:07 p.m. Saturday night, when the University of North Dakota hosts the University of Manitoba in its season-opening exhibition.
Fans attending the games may notice some new items and features in Ralph Engelstad Arena. Here are 11 of them:
1. The new video board(s)
You’ve surely heard all about it, but you can’t miss the new center-ice video board. It’s the largest in college hockey, and you have to see it in person to gain a full appreciation of it.
The new video boards debuted last weekend for the American Hockey League exhibition games between the Manitoba Moose and the Iowa Wild.
But it’s not just the center-hung scoreboard that’s new.
The old video boards are hanging on each end of the stadium and will provide in-game statistics and advertising. Ralph Engelstad Arena also put display screens above every tunnel entering the upper and lower bowls.
The fascia ribbon, which rings around the arena between the upper and lower bowls, also is brand new.
2. Metal detectors
Fans may want to arrive early to the first few games as Ralph Engelstad Arena is now using metal detectors. They were used during last weekend’s AHL games.
3. Shuttle buses return
The shuttle buses that transport fans between the UND parking ramp and Ralph Engelstad Arena are back. They will be available for every game this season.
4. New ride-share location
The Uber and Lyft pick-up and drop-off location will now be in front of the main entrance of Ralph Engelstad Arena on the east side. The Ralph says it will allow more room for Uber and Lyft drivers to park and it will expedite fans getting in and out.
5. New concession items
Among the new concession items are rice and noodle bowls (teriyaki chicken, sweet and sour chicken or shrimp), fruit-topped funnel cakes and brownie batter Dip-n-Dots ice cream. There will be a fourth Dip-n-Dots location, too. The Ralph also will begin selling White Claw.
6. REA-themed beer
Half Brothers Brewing Company is introducing a new Ralph Engelstad Arena beer. It’s called, “NoDak No. 23.” It will be available only at the arena or at the Half Brothers location in downtown Grand Forks.
7. Student concession
Students will be allowed to purchase 11 concession items at a 50% discount this season. Students will have to show their UND student ID card at the concession stand to get the discount.
8. Increased counter
Ralph Engelstad Arena installed granite counter tops attached to columns in the main concourse to give fans more space to eat and drink.
9. Digital programs
UND athletics will no longer be printing game programs. They will now be available online at FightingHawks.com. There will be free line-up cards for fans at concession stands, too.
10. New title banners
UND installed new NCAA national championship and WCHA and NCHC conference title banners. The logos on the banners now reflect the logo the team was wearing at the time the championship was won.
The NCAA title banners have been moved to the north end of the area, while the league title banners remain on the west side.
There also are two new banners for UND’s two retired jerseys — Terry Casey’s No. 12 and Ralph Engelstad’s No. 23. Not only are the jersey numbers hanging on the south end, it also has the players’ names on them.
11. LED lighting system
The arena installed a new LED lighting system in the main arena that makes the playing surface brighter.