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High sticking it to them?

UND students irked at plan to charge for hockey tickets

A plan to charge UND students $55 next year to attend university hockey games at the new Engelstad Arena isn't sitting well with the students. UND Student Body President Berly Nelson said the students could decide to boycott the games if the fee plan is finalized.  He said the students learned of the fee charge from viewing the Ralph Engelstad Arena Inc. Web site, where ticket costs are listed. The Ralph Engelstad-owned company will operate the arena when it opens for the start of the 2000-2001 hockey season. The students reacted in amazement when they learned of the seasonal fee, he said.

They know their counterparts at other Division I hockey schools purchase tickets to attend games, but Nelson said students here feel the fees would be unjust because a private donor is building the arena. A spokesman for the Engelstad company didn't return telephone calls Tuesday, but Nelson said he believes the company wants to charge students to recover operating costs for the arena. Earlier, the North Dakota Legislature declined to cover the yet-uncertain costs. The students believe Engelstad can cover the costs with other ticket sales and by selling luxury suites. Without the students, the student president said, he doesn't believe Engelstad officials can sell enough tickets to fill the 11,000-seat arena.

If the $55 fee goes into effect, students would pay about $3 a game if they attended every home game.

Grand Forks Herald, October 25, 2000

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