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Published April 06, 2011, 09:10 PM

REA Gearing Up for Frozen Four Viewing Party

Thousands of fans expected
Fighting Sioux men's hockey fans who can't make it to the Frozen Four tournament in St. Paul don't have to feel left out.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

Fighting Sioux men's hockey fans who can't make it to the Frozen Four tournament in St. Paul don't have to feel left out.

The Ralph Engelstad Arena will hold a viewing party for fans who want to watch the event on the big screen scoreboard Thursday night.

The Ralph held a similar viewing party for the NCAA regional tournament just a couple of weeks ago. So many fans attended, doing it again was an easy decision.

About 2,500 Fighting Sioux men's hockey fans showed up. Concession manager Jerry Robinson says they were not expecting that many people and were overwhelmed with the lines waiting for beer and hot dogs.

"We cooked them as we needed them and we weren't prepared for the onslaught that we had. So this time we will be more prepared for it. A lot more prepared for it," Robinson said.

On Thursday, the Ralph is planning another viewing party for fans who want to watch the Sioux in Frozen Four semi-final in St. Paul.

"We'll dim the house lights, lower the score board, try to create that unique atmosphere that worked very well last time. And hopefully thousands of sioux fans come out," REA media director Chris Semrau said.

This time they are preparing for about 3,000 fans.

Jerry Robinson" Right now I have 800 hot dogs panned and ready to be cooked tomorrow afternoon right before the game," Robinson said.

Fewer fans in line will mean more fans in their seats, which will give them a better chance to be seen on national TV.

ESPN will have a live feed from the Ralph to show them occasionally during Thursday's game.

"That's great for Grand Forks, for UND and to show people that we have the best college hockey fans in the country," Semrau said.

Parking and admission for the event are free.

The game will be on ESPN2 starting at 7:30 p.m.

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