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Published March 15, 2013, 02:31 PM

Iconic “Home Of The Fighting Sioux” Sign to be Auctioned

You want to spell out just how dismayed you are that UND no longer is “Home Of The Fighting Sioux”? In big letters?

By: Chuck Haga, Grand Forks Herald

You want to spell out just how dismayed you are that UND no longer is “Home Of The Fighting Sioux”?

In big letters?

Ralph Engelstad Arena announced today that one full set of “Home Of The Fighting Sioux” letters removed from the exterior of the hockey palace last fall will be sold through an online auction this month.

“We received quite a few inquiries from folks about what we were going to do with the signs,” said Chris Semrau, director of events and media relations at REA.

The six sets of letters were removed from the REA and the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center starting in late October to comply with terms of the 2007 settlement agreement that ended a lawsuit brought by the state of North Dakota, acting on behalf of UND and the State Board of Higher Education, against the NCAA.

Efforts to reverse or alter the settlement have continued, and in September the NCAA agreed to amend it to allow most Fighting Sioux imagery to stay — but the six large exterior “home of” signs still had to go.

Each of the letters is 24 inches in height. As installed on the arena’s exterior, the phrase “Home Of The Fighting Sioux” measured about 70 feet in length, Semrau said.

He said proceeds from the sale will go toward offsetting the costs of the signs’ removal. He did not cite a figure for that work, but said “it was significant.”

The online auction is to open at 8 a.m. Monday and close at 5 p.m. next Friday, Semrau said.

“Letters will be sold ‘as is’ without warranty of any kind, either express or implied,” Semrau said, but they are in good condition.

The phrase is to be sold in its entirety, not letter by letter. But that opportunity may come, Semrau said, depending on how successful next week’s auction is.

“We’re doing one set now and then we’ll re-evaluate and decide what to do with the rest of the letters,” he said. “No plans have been made” for the remaining sets.

Potential bidders may inspect a limited number of the letters in the REA administrative office during regular business hours. The arena will assume no responsibility “for any repairs or additional costs required to display these letters,” and the winning bidder must pay shipping costs.

For more information or to place a bid, visit www.theralph.com or call (701) 777-6609.