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Published October 05, 2011, 04:16 PM

10 Years Later, The Ralph is Still Palace on the Prairie

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - It was ten years ago Wednesday that the Ralph Engelstad Arena opened its doors.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - It was ten years ago Wednesday that the Ralph Engelstad Arena opened its doors.

The $104 million building was a gift from UND alumnus Ralph Engelstad.

Most people refer to the arena as simply "The Ralph."

The arena has been also called the Taj Mahal of hockey. And after a decade, it hasn't lost its appeal.

Engelstad hoped the facility would aid in the growth of the Grand Forks area and the university after the flood of 1997 and at the same time, give the UND hockey team a competitive edge.

The facility has hosted 4.4 million guests.

In addition to hockey games there have been dozens of concerts and many other event over the past decade.

The Ralph fun facts

- 93,000 gallons of Diet Coke served

- 7,200 hats sold at Sioux Shop

- 29,000 pucks sold

- 12,000 lapel pins sold

- About 7,000 foam fingers sold

- 17 players who've battled on the ice have gone to play at least one NHL game

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