Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Ralph

Yesterday, was my first adventure to the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Oh, my! This place looks like a palace. I was not sure what to expect as we drove to Grand Forks in chilly 13 below zero weather. Thirteen below zero I shouted to myself inside my head. Just about the time my fingers finally defrosted we had completed our two-and-half hour drive from Park Rapids to Grand Forks. This warm hearted girl turned more into a popsicle than a sports fan from walking across the parking lot towards the arena. Then that's when it happened, I saw what looked like a palace. A brick palace at that, with white domes and a sign out front that read: Ralph Engelstad Arena. The 400,000 square-foot complex is home to the University of North Dakota men and women's hockey programs. Probably just like everyone else who has walked in here, I was very impressed with the facility. I have no doubt that it is the finest hockey venue in the country. Immediately as I opened the door I noticed that I was walking on a glowing brown granite floor. I also took note of the several Fighting Sioux logo's engraved on the floor.

The fans were buzzing with excitement as they began to fill the 11,640 seat arena. As I watched the fans begin to file in, they were all wearing the team color of green. When I say they all are, I am not lying. In fact, I think I was the only one not wearing green or Fighting Sioux paraphernalia of some kind. It was just amazing!

When I walked around the concourse I quickly smelled kettle corn, churros, pizza and other goodies that filled my nose. As I kept walking I looked to one side of the wall to see plaques, jerseys and pictures commemorating UND history.

The palace contains 2,200 Sioux logos and over 300 televisions including a state-of-the-art big screen hanging over center ice. Each seat is constructed of black leather and cherry wood. Very comfy, I'm sure if I could have only been patient enough to sit in them long enough. The game was very good. I was at the edge of my seat or out of it, more than I was in it. The Sioux battled it out against Denver. It was a fast pace game and a quick scoring game. The Sioux won eight to three.

The picture above was of them getting into a huge scuffle. It was awesome! Is that bad of me? I love it when the boys' get into big old fights. Don't be a hater! I know that I'm not the only one. LOL So, if you ever want to do something sportsy; I defiinitely recommend going to the Ralph. You won't be disappointed, I promise.
Have a good weekend everyone. Stay warm.

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