There will be nine direct flights from Grand Forks to Nashville the weekend of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game, featuring UND and Penn State on Oct. 30, Grand Forks airport officials said during an Airport Authority Board meeting Thursday, July 22.

The game was postponed from its original date in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all tickets purchased for last year’s game are valid this year.

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Three of the flights are scheduled Allegiant Airlines flights, four are Boeing 737 charters which will be operated through Sun Country 747 airplanes, and one private individual has chartered two additional flights through Allegiant.

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“In total, we’re in the neighborhood of about 15,000 additional passengers in about a three-day period, in addition to all of the other regular flights,” said Ryan Riesinger, executive director. “It is going to be busy, and we’re going to try to make it as fun as possible. We’re planning for special events, decorations and giveaways. We’ve got a working group that’s looking into all aspects to make it as smooth as possible, including vehicle parking, gate and ramp space, passenger baggage screening, food and beverage and the list goes on.”

The airport is aware that weather could play a factor in the weekend and will be stocked with icing fluid for runways and airplanes, as well as fuel. There is a board meeting on the Thursday before the weekend.

Riesinger went on to express his excitement for the weekend, but that it will take a lot of hard work to make it a success.

“We do believe it’s a great opportunity for us to shine as an airport and show the community what we can do with our partners,” Riesinger said.

In other news:

  • In accordance with changes TSA guidelines all airports are taking during the pandemic, masks will continue to be required in all indoor spaces at the Grand Forks International Airport, including those who have been vaccinated, with the exception of outdoor spaces. The remaining requirements exist until Sept. 13, but Riesinger said he thinks it will likely continue to be in effect for the extended future.