Happy Birthday REA

On October 5th, 2001, Ralph Engelstad Arena opened its doors for the first time.  10 years and 4.4 million people later, The Ralph still shines brightly as the Palace on the Prairie.

Ralph Engelstad’s vision when he built the arena was that it would draw visitor’s from far and wide and would have a large economic impact on the region.  He was right.

Thank you Ralph.

3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday REA

  1. 10 years ago the Ralph Mahal was dedicated, so of course everyone is waxing poetic about Ralph Engelstad’s “philanthropy” and his “generosity”…on and on and on. No mention of the fact that Engelstad was a Nazi admirer who was fined $1.5 million by the Nevada Gaming Board for hosting not one, but two birthday parties for Adolf Hitler. He even had a portrait commissioned of himself dressed as an SS officer, captioned “To Adolf from Ralphie”.

    His poisonous “gift” has extended the nickname controversy for a costly and damaging 10+ years. He rode roughshod over UND and his charming tactics included sending nasty, threatening letters to UND faculty who expressed opposition to the nickname.

    Yup, he was a perfectly nice guy…just as long as he was getting what he wanted without argument. I hope that when I die, my reputation gets scrubbed so squeaky clean.

  2. what’s poisonous about his gift? the fact that it has seen over 4.4 million people come through it? and with them 4.4 million people come money that they spend in town so Grand Forks can prosper. yea, that’s a real “poisonous” gift he gave us.
    who cares if he was a NAZI admirer, he wasn’t pressing his NAZI views (like Hitler) on anyone else. he had his NAZI parties in the comfort of his own place, i’m sure you weren’t invited.
    you seem to forgot that those “nasty” letters were written in response to promises that weren’t kept from “Chuck”. if i was donating $100+ million plus dollars to my university, i would like a few promises too.
    you know the nickname might be going from the university but it will never leave the REA!

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