Thief River Falls is home to the Ralph Engelstad Arena, one of the nation's top high school hockey arenas. This world class, $15 million arena would not have been possible without the incredibly generous $13 million gift from Thief River Falls native, Ralph Engelstad in 2002. A local fundraising campaign raised $2.8 million to "wrap up" Ralph's gift. The arena has an impressive community room that proudly bears the name “Imperial Room,” named after Las Vegas' Imperial Palace, which was owned by Ralph Engelstad. It hosts wedding receptions, conferences, and many other events. In addition to holding hockey games, the arena hosts basketball games, wrestling matches, and concerts. The city is always looking for ways to use the arena, and an recent example is the Norskies Jr. A Hockey Team that was just formed.
This 1,050,000 square foot facility features an ice sheet and seats 3,593 people. The building is equipped with 8 locker rooms, a community room, hospitality room, weight room, and an acceleration skating treadmill. It also has a stunning main lobby with granite floors and a brass ceiling, and is home to a hall of fame area that includes a bronze Ralph Engelstad goalie sculpture.
Ralph's philosophy of giving was, "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 hope that my gift is an inspiration to others to give and help others when they are able."
Click here to learn more about the Ralph Engelstad Arena and how to hold your next event there: Visit their website!