Multiple sources have confirmed that Ralph Engelstad Arena will do a major renovation of UND’s locker room, classroom, lounge and coaches’ offices during the upcoming offseason.
The project, which is being planned out right now, is expected to last most of the summer.
Ralph Engelstad Arena, which opened 12 years ago, has done an excellent job in making sure that the building remains the top hockey venue in the country during an era where sporting venues are often considered outdated after 20 or 25 years.
The managers there are making sure that Ralph Engelstad’s once-in-a-lifetime gift of $104 million won’t soon disappear as an outdated arena.
Past projects include the scoreboard and graphics, improved ice-cooling coils underneath the surface, a facelift to the women’s hockey locker room and The Hockey Academy. Officials also have had discussions about how to improve cell phone coverage in the facility, which should please many of you who have e-mailed me about that issue.
Once the season ends and the plans are finalized with the locker room renovation, I’ll have more on this.
It sounds like UND will head back to the Alaska Goal Rush tournament in Fairbanks to start the 2015-16 season. UND would play Alaska Anchorage one night and Fairbanks the next.
It’s no secret that UND has coveted the exempt games (not counted against the limit of 34 regular-season games). The only ways to get those right now are playing in Alaska, playing in the Ice Breaker or playing in a Hall of Fame Game.
I’m sure the Anchorage seafood restaurants are lobbying the Seawolves to get UND back to its early-season tournament, too, knowing the kind of business that I will give them.