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Expected UND-NDSU game attendance: 6,000-plus

A crowd of 6,000 to 7,000 is expected Tuesday night at 7 when the UND and North Dakota State men's basketball teams meet in Grand Forks for the first time in eight years.

Butch Schuler
Butch Schuler, maintenance supervisor at the Ralph Engelstad Arena does a final check of the basketball floor installed over the ice in preparation for tonight's UND-NDSU basketball game. Herald photo by Eric Hylden.

A crowd of 6,000 to 7,000 is expected Tuesday night at 7 when the UND and North Dakota State men's basketball teams meet in Grand Forks for the first time in eight years.

The estimate came from Jody Hodgson, Ralph Engelstad Arena general manager. The schools went seven years without meeting in basketball before playing in Fargo last season, a game that the Bison won handily.

"Basketball always has pretty good walk-up ticket sales," Hodgson said. "We're expecting that again, especially with the students."

Bleachers are in place at both ends of the court, for NDSU and UND students. The side of the court will have three rows of seats, filling some of the empty space in a facility used predominantly for hockey.

"We've made some improvements with the bleachers and tightened things up a bit so it's a good basketball setup," Hodgson said. "We've closed things up some."

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Hodgson anticipates that the REA parking lots, which have 1,700 spots, will fill up. Parking passes for basketball season ticket holders, suite holders and club lounge holders will be honored. However, parking passes by hockey season ticket holders won't be valid.

On-site parking is $5 a vehicle.

The realignment of the REA won't affect the UND men's hockey team weekly regimen. Because the team is playing this weekend at St. Cloud State, which has an Olympic-sized rink, the men would be practicing on its own Olympic rink anyway. The UND women's team, which plays host to Harvard this weekend, will return to the REA main rink on Wednesday.

UND men's basketball is 12-6 in games at the REA, including 2-1 against NDSU.

Reach Bakken at (701) 780-1125; (800) 477-6572, ext. 125; or send email to rbakken@gfherald.com .

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