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Published October 01, 2011, 09:38 PM

Ralph Engelstad Arena Celebrates a Decade of Memories

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The Ralph Engelstad Arena opened its doors 10 years ago. It has hosted everything from concerts to curling matches, but it's most famous as the home of Fighting Sioux Hockey.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The Ralph Engelstad Arena opened its doors 10 years ago.

It has hosted everything from concerts to curling matches, but it's most famous as the home of Fighting Sioux Hockey.

Fans and arena staff look back at 10 years of history at the first game of this year's Fighting Sioux hockey season.

The 400,000 square foot Ralph Engelstad Arena opened its doors to Sioux Hockey fans 10 years ago. The building has made memories for many in the past decade.

"Lots of good memories. This is my favorite place to come and I totally look forward to hockey here every season," Fighting Sioux hockey fan Judith Quinn said.

One of Judith Quinn's favorite memories at the Ralph is when her son proposed to his wife.

"And when they had their wedding pictures taken they actually had them taken right here in the square with the Ralph Engelstad Arena in the background," Quinn said.

Arena staff have made many fond memories here as well.

"I think the best is when the students come back to visit after they've graduated and they'll come back and they'll give me a hug and they'll say 'remember when.' And it's just kind of been ongoing. It's been a lot of fun doing that," Usher Supervisor Pam Zimbelman said.

The Ralph Engelstad Arena has been Home of the Fighting Sioux for ten years. Fans say they are sad to see the name officially change but they don't think it will ever truly go away.

"It's very sad. I think it's very sad that we're going to lose it and I don't look forward to that day but I'm going to remain Fighting Sioux proud," Quinn said.

This year's hockey season is set to mark the last season the team carries the Fighting Sioux name.

"We'll see what happens. We're kind of in a wait and see mode. We have no decision making in the situation, so we'll see what's decided and we'll act appropriately," REA Director of Events Chris Semrau said.

But nonetheless, fans and arena staff are ready to celebrate a decade of history at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

"This facility has truly stood the test of time and it doesn't look like it's 10 years old, it feels brand new. So we're very much looking forward to the next 10 years," Semrau said.

"This place is amazing. It's absolutely beautiful, best facility you could go to. We've been to various others around the country and this is just by far the palace on the prairie," Quinn added.

Tickets to the UND versus Regina hockey game were just $10 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ralph Engelstad Arena.

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