The renovation of the weight room begins at Ralph Engelstad Arena – The Rink Live
GRAND FORKS – Each summer, Ralph Engelstad Arena tackles projects large and small to improve the 21-year-old venue and maintain it as one of the premier athletic venues in North America.
This summer’s project is a big one.
A $5 million renovation of the weight room and recovery room at Ralph Engelstad Arena is underway. The project started Monday and is expected to be completed by Labor Day.
The project is privately funded by the Engelstad Foundation.
The new weight room will include a nutrition area, an altitude training room, a 40-meter indoor grass track, a larger area for players to practice puck shooting and a complete replacement of all weight room equipment.
Both the men’s ice hockey and soccer programs will use it.
Since 2019, the old hockey visitors’ locker room has been used as a space where players participate in recreational activities after games and training sessions, but there has never been a major change to it. Now the area is being renovated and equipped with new equipment.
“We’re very excited,” said Jody Hodgson, General Manager of Ralph Engelstad Arena. “It’s going to be the best strength and conditioning room and recovery room in college hockey when we’re done.”
The old weight room equipment has been moved to the arena floor where the players will train this summer.
They will be skating at the Olympic Rink when they return to campus in July.
When the ice goes to the main rink this fall, the expectation is that the old weight room equipment will be moved to another location on campus.
“I’ve heard a lot of people ask, ‘Why do we have to do this? What do we do?’” Hodgson said. “Our goal is to provide our student-athletes with the best possible developmental experience. All we’ve been doing is how we can make our student-athletes bigger, stronger, faster, and help them maintain their bodies in the face of the blows they’re taking as a division -me student-athlete.”
This will be the first major renovation since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020. AND replaced its center ice scoreboard, LED band surrounding the arena, lighting system and media control room in 2019.