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Wrapping Up The Gift

On Monday, April 8, 2002, an historical event occurred in Thief River Falls when the groundbreaking took place for the new ice hockey arena named “Ralph Engelstad Arena Thief River Falls.”

This beautiful state-of-the-art facility is based on a vision of Ralph Engelstad. Through a generous donation by Ralph and his wife Betty, of $13.5 million the project has becoming a reality. This fine facility offers Thief River Falls an immeasurable amount of positive future economic development.

The Ralph Engelstad Arena Features:

  • 200' x 85' ice sheet

  • 8,465 sq. ft. Community Room (unfinished)

  • 3,312 Permanent Arena Seats

  • 281 Maple Stools at Drink Rail

  • Walking Track with Mondo Flooring

  • Eight (8) Locker Rooms

  • Officials Room

  • Skate Sharpening Room

  • Laundry Room

  • Hospitality Room

  • 156' x 60' Main Lobby with Granite Floor and Brass Ceiling

  • Hall of Fame Area

  • Two (2) Concession Stands

  • Media Facilities

  • Elevator Accessible to all Arena Levels

  • Administrative and Ticket Offices

  • Fully ADA Compliant

On November 29, 2003…the Ralph Engelstad Arena was dedicated.

We thank Ralph and Betty Engelstad for their generosity to the community of Thief River Falls. While simply saying "thank you" seems so inadequate, we do indeed thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  We are proud of Thief River Falls, we are proud you, Ralph, claim Thief River Falls as your hometown and we are proud to claim you as one of our own.

About Ralph...

Ralph Engelstad was born and lived the first 18 years of his life in our city of Thief River Falls.  It was here he attended school, developed his love for the sport of hockey, built lasting friendships and learned the values of honest dealings, loyalty, hard work and perseverance.  Although he has achieved unparalleled success in the business world and accumulated great wealth after moving from our area, he has never forgotten his roots and his hometown.  Over the years, Ralph and Betty Engelstad have made a number of generous donations to Thief River Falls and its citizens.  Thief River Falls collectively is overwhelmed by the announcement of this latest gift.

From Ralph…

Mottos: "No dream comes true until you wake up and go to work."
            "The harder I work, the luckier I get."

Philosophy of Giving: "I don't do it for the publicity.  I guess I do it for my own self-satisfaction, for the good feeling it gives me.  It's helping others and I hope it gives them the insight  that they could probably do the same.  I want to leave the idea that you need to work hard to succeed."

 "I have been very fortunate in life and I have tried to help others the same as I am trying to help Thief River Falls with this new arena.  I hope that my gift is an inspiration to others to give and help others when they are able."

Community Support of the Project

The necessary dollars over and above Ralph and Betty Engelstad's generous donation are the responsibility of our community and supporters of the project.  Donations consisting of cash, in-kind and pledges in the amount of $2,800,000 have been committed as of June, 2004.  These funds have been/will be used for:

  • Infrastructure (water, sewer, and storm sewer)

  • Engelstad Drive

  • Parking Lots

  • Landscaping

  • Sidewalks

  • Exterior Renovation of the Huck Olson Memorial Civic Center (HOMCC)

  • Connecting Link to HOMCC

  • Scoreboard

  • Zamboni

  • Fitness Center Equipment

  • Concession Equipment

  • Training Room Equipment

  • Office Furniture and Equipment

  • Bronze Ralph Engelstad Goalie Sculpture

Be a part of the vision...

Additional dollars to reach the goal of $3,025,000 are needed to provide for the following:

  • Finishing and Furnishing the 8,465 sq. ft. Community Room

  • Complete Landscaping

  • Complete Parking Lot Lighting and Paving

  • Dry Floor (Ice Covering)

  • Basketball Floor

  • Laundry Room Equipment

  • Building Signage

All donations are tax deductible and any donation of $500 or more will be recognized in the main lobby of the arena on the donor wall depicting your generosity.  The contribution levels are as follows:

PUCK
$500
STICK
$1,000
SKATE
$2,500
SLAP SHOT
$5,000
ASSIST
$10,000
GOAL
$25,000

HAT TRICK
$50,000

MVP
$100,000 & ABOVE

Donations may be paid over a 5-year period.  Please review the pledge card for your contribution and payment options.  For questions regarding the arena project or your contribution contact any of the following:

Project Coordinators were:     

  • Dale Wennberg   

  • Madelyn Vigen   

  • For information call (218) 681-2183 

  • Copyright 2007 RALPH ENGELSTAD ARENA - TRF