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UND to boost gametime experience for hockey fans

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GRAND FORKS, MN--The Fighting Hawks are preparing to swoop over Manitoba--and this year, and this year, Hawk fans will have a championship experience.

"I'm really pumped. I'm excited for hockey to be back. And it's been a long summer,” said Senior, Matthew Peffer.

Fighting Hawks fans are ready for hockey season.

"We don't miss a single one. So yeah it's a lot of fun. A good social event,” said Senior, Austen Hanson.

"I'm hoping that they make a deep run this year. It's always fun. The playoff atmosphere at the end,” said Peffer.

It's Hawks vs. Bison at the Ralph on Saturday--and the venue is unveiling some new features for the fan experience.

And the venue is unveiling some new features for the fan experience.

One major complaint is paying for parking.

"Whenever we come we're trying to figure out like rides and stuff and where to park,” said Peffer.

Managers at the Ralph have installed a spot dedicated to anybody who doesn't want to drive to the game

"We just continue to see an increase in the number of people that are coming and going from our events via Uber and Lyft so we've tried to make that a little smoother for all that are involved,” said General Manager, Jody Hodgson.

The Menu is also changing.

"We've got some funnel cakes, deep fried twinkies and shaved ice and products you'd find at your county fair and state fair and we're really excited about that project,” said Hodgson.

And students at the southwest entrance will get the chance to control the playlist while they wait.

These new speakers will be blasting fan favorites.

"The music thing I think you know it's great. It gets the students pumped up and you know ready for a game,” said Senior, Hanson.

"For the first 30 minutes when the doors open when our students. They're the only people in the building. They'll control the playlist in the bowl as well. We hope it adds to the student experience,” said Hodgson.

Some exciting changes to start the 18th season.

"The whole community just seems to love this team so it's great to get back and watch the games,” said Hanson.