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Locals confused by 99 dollar lap-seat ticket price at the Ralph

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)—While the University of North Dakota hockey team achieved a win over the weekend, some fans are sour.

The games between the Hawks and the Gophers did not disappoint fans over the weekend, but for one family, the sticker shock did disappoint, when the family tried to bring their 2-year-old daughter to the game, and were told it would cost them nearly 100 dollars to have the child sit on their laps.

What was supposed to be a fun weekend outing for the family turned into something else for UND alumni Ellie Olson.

"It was frustrating. We go to the Ralph a lot—we love UND men's hockey—and to have this happen and ruin our nights, it, well, it's upsetting,” said Ellie Olson.

Olson planned on buying the usual $15 lap seat ticket for her 2 year old daughter to watch the rivalry game.

"So we called at 5 just to be sure.  And we were told when we got there that all tickets were 99 dollars, including the lap seats.  So we didn't really have a choice at that point because what were we going to do—go without our 2-year-old? So we had to pay the $99 to have her sit on my lap,” said Olson.

I spoke with the General Manager of the Ralph today, he would not get into the specific phone call - but explained that their lap-seat tickets are always sold for the same price as general admission youth tickets.

"With our dynamic pricing strategy and with our dynamic ticket policy, tickets this year for youth range in price from 15 dollars for the Manitoba and St Lawrence series to 25 and 30 dollars for NCHC series. And every single game ticket for this weekend was 99 dollars including the lap ticket,” said GM of The Ralph, Jody Hodgson.

Olson says when she called a box office manager the next day to ask for an explanation, she was told that she was lying and hung-up on.

"That was probably more disappointing. You know, we had paid the money, obviously, but then, to get that kind of reaction - unprofessional reaction I guess you could say - from them, was even worse for us, because we just wanted to, basically find out why, when we were told 15 dollars, why we paid 99," said Olson.

"Yeah we got feedback from a number of customers this weekend due to the price of the ticket. There was certainly some feedback there and some different opinions expressed to us on the price of that ticket. So we are aware of the issue this weekend and we will use that information as we plan ahead for future events,” said Olson.

However for the Olson family, this weekend may have ruined any desire to return.

"I don't know if we'll go back now, which is disappointing, because we do love watching UND hockey,” said Olson.

When WDAZ’s Scott Cook spoke with Hodgson today, he did not deny that a box office employee hung up on Olson. However, Hodgson did say that the issue has been addressed, and it’s a learning lesson for everyone.