Ralph Engelstad Arena is 13 years old now, but those in charge are determined to keep it at its elite level and not let it fall behind newer rinks around the country.
That’s one point that both REA general manager Jody Hodgson and UND coach Dave Hakstol said in talking about this offseason’s upgrades. Read that story for some details.
When the project is done — and it’s not expected to be done until just before the season starts — the Herald will have photos and video of the new upgrades.
One of the big changes will be the setup of the men’s hockey area. Right now, there’s a hallway that cuts down the middle of it. On one side, you have the players’ locker room and training room. On the other side, you have the classroom, lounge and coaches’ dressing room.
The remodel is going to put all of that, along with a dining room, in one area with the hallway going around it. This should increase privacy and security, Hodgson said. The locker room is changing shape to more of an oval and it will decrease in size.
I’m told that there will be a “wow factor” but it won’t be completely over the top.
Hodgson also said that they have noted the connectivity issues fans have had while in The Ralph, and they are trying to address that as well.
In the meantime, the hockey team is stationed in the women’s visiting room. That’s not a huge change, as they move out of their locker room for the summer each season. This time, when they move back, it will look completely different.