Is UND Just a Hockey School?

My Experience going to other sporting events at UND

Claire Arneson, Editor

We all know what the University of North Dakota is known for, besides being cold and flat, we are a hockey school. Not according to Yik Yak, but according to everyone else. We have a hockey team, it might not always be good, but it is there. Hockey is something I did not get into until I came here. I was not interested in the sport until it was 2020 and there was literally nothing else to do besides watch hockey. I quickly realized, I loved the sport. Not so much the sport itself, but the atmosphere at the Ralph Englestad Arena. I love the cheers from the student section, the little games we play between periods, and the overpriced food. Hockey has been away for some time now, and because of that, I have had nothing to do on the weekends. Students like me are eager for the team to return to play at the Ralph, but while the team is away, there are other teams at UND to cheer on. We have football, volleyball, basketball (both women’s and men’s), and more teams to play this spring.  

Tickets to these games are free, so there is no reason for the average broke college student not to attend. Back in the fall, I went to a couple of football games. I did not have any idea what was going on until the end of the season, but I still went to support the team. The Alerus Center is an enormous and fun building to hang out in. Besides the occasional football game in the fall, they also put on some amazing concerts. When going to football games, if you drive, you will have to pay for parking. UND offers a free shuttle to and from the Alerus on game days for UND students, which is a nice perk if you do not feel like walking. When you start walking into the stadium, it is not uncommon to see Mr. And Mrs. Armacost getting in line to cheer on our football players. If you have never been to a UND football game, I highly recommend it. The atmosphere there is most like the Ralph where they have specific football chants, good visuals, and loud fireworks. You can scream, “UND first down,” or start a drumroll on the chair in front of you. They also have amazing halftime shows performed by the Pride of the North marching band and the color guard. The crowd was always lively with student section fans, and those in our community, and contrary to what you might think, our football team is pretty good, or at least to me they were, and fun to watch.  

My freshman year of college, I had the opportunity to go to a volleyball game. My high school was a volleyball school. I played for several years before coming to college, so I was looking forward to being reminded of home. Yet again, I loved the environment that the UND students have created for our teams. The team played in the Betty, which is attached to the Ralph, closer to the wellness center. Something about every time you watch a different sport for UND, is that the band always makes a statement. Both with their original chants, and the amazing music they play. Volleyball is not a common sport to watch for most of us, but it really is fun to watch and easy to understand compared to football. Like the Ralph, the Betty also offers a variety of food and drinks to enjoy while you watch the game. It is not as extensive as the Alerus or the Ralph, but it is good food, nonetheless. And it is substantially cheaper compared to both places.  

Speaking of the Betty, I have spent most of my Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons there cheering on the basketball teams. What is nice about these games is that you can show up five minutes before it starts and still get decent seats in the student section. There is no sitting out in the cold to try and get the best seats. Simply just walk in and find a place to sit. In case you are like me and cannot read signs, you can ask an usher to point you to the student section. It is in the back of the arena with a large banner that says, “student section.” I personally like attending the women’s basketball games more than the men’s, but they are both equally fun and engaging. The stands are usually empty, but the student section fills up as the game begins. What is so nice and heartfelt about going to these games is that other UND athletes come and support. The cross-country team, football players, and the opposite basketball team come out and support. When attending the women’s basketball game against NDSU, the men’s basketball team, the track team, the cross-country team all came out and showed their support.  

With Winter hopefully coming to an end and Spring fast approaching, more free UND athletics sporting events are coming in hot. Softball, golf, tennis, and track and field are playing or soon will be. Basketball is still currently playing and will have home games through the end of February. If you are looking for a fun night out or a way to spend a Sunday afternoon without spending money, going to a UND game besides hockey is a great way to cheer on a team without breaking the bank.  


Claire Arneson is a Dakota Student Section Editor. She can be reached at [email protected]