Area nonprofit organizations raise more than $100,000 this athletics season by working at Engelstad arenas

Altogether, 2,729 volunteers representing 76 groups worked at the two sports facilities.

Ralph Engelstad Arena
A file photo showing the front of Ralph Engelstad Arena at the University of North Dakota. (AP Photo/Dave Kolpack)

GRAND FORKS – Local and regional nonprofit organizations have accrued more than $100,000 by working in concession stands and providing custodial services at the Ralph Engelstad Arena and Betty Engelstad Sioux Center during the 2022-23 UND athletics season, according to Jody Hodgson, REA general manager.

Altogether, 2,729 volunteers representing 76 groups worked at the two sports facilities, Hodgson said in a news release. Thirty-four groups, consisting of 1,125 volunteers, worked concessions shifts and 42 groups, consisting of 1,604 volunteers, worked custodial shifts.

These groups earned funds for their organizations by working during UND hockey, basketball and volleyball seasons at The Ralph and The Betty, he said.

The “vast majority” of their work was in support of UND hockey games, said John Martens, REA marketing director.

The nonprofit organization that raised the most money for their group last season earned $12,375 at the Ralph, Hodgson said. That group wishes to remain anonymous, Martens said.


“We’re very happy to provide groups with a fantastic way to earn money for their respective organizations,” said Erika Thorson, REA’s recruiting coordinator. “It’s a win-win for them and The Ralph. The groups are very appreciative (for the opportunity to earn funds by) working at events, plus they have a lot of fun being here – and we’re very happy to have them help us take care of our fans on game days.”

Nonprofit organizations that are interested in working concessions and/or custodial shifts for the upcoming 2023-24 athletics season are invited to email Thorson as or visit .

These additional workers augment the full- and part-time staff already employed at the Ralph, Hodgson said. The Ralph Engelstad Arena employed 779 full- and part-time employees during the 2022-23 season, making it one of the largest employees in both the city and county of Grand Forks, Hodgson said. It is also one of the largest employers in the state of North Dakota in terms of the total number of employees on staff in a year, he said.


Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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