New Safety Guidelines For UND Hockey Games At The Ralph

The arena will be instituting the measures for the foreseeable future

GRAND FORKS, ND (KVRR) – They returned to the ice back in December. For the first time in almost a year, North Dakota will be back on their home one.

UND gears up to host Colorado College twice this weekend. Ralph Engelstad Arena will allow roughly 3,000 fans at most, 2,000 more than what was originally allowed when the team was on the road.

“It’s certainly been a lot of collaboration so working with the University of North Dakota and the UND Department of Athletics as well as our city leaders and local public health department,” said Arena general manager Jody Hodgson. “Really a collaborative approach to it. We realized we don’t operate in a vacuum; we operate in a community and we have a responsibility to do the right thing for the community.”

The arena has put safety guidelines in place for the foreseeable future. Fans will be encouraged to social distance and have to wear masks whenever they aren’t eating or drinking, which they can only do back at their physically distant assigned seat. They also won’t be allowed to congregate in the lobby, concourses, or any other common area. And though they’re allowed, bags and purses are discouraged from being brought in to cut down on the interaction time with staff as they people enter the arena. Quite the change from the typical UND game experience.

“People that have been to The Ralph before know that we try to create a great social environment,” said Hodgson. “We try to have lively concourses. We typically have a band playing on the concourse. We try and make sure there are a whole bunch of things surrounding the game that add to people’s enjoyment of the event.”

At the end of the day, Hodgson is confident things will work out.

“I think we’ve got a really good plan in place,” said Hodgson. “We’ve got a really good group of people prepared to implement that plan. I think the numbers in our county right now are very low, so we’re feeling really good about the timing and the opportunity here and we think we’re going to have a couple great games this weekend.”

A few single-game tickets are still up for grabs.

Categories: College, Coronavirus, Coronavirus-ND, Local News, North Dakota News