Coronavirus and UND Athletics: What does it mean?

(Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography )

Well, first off we hope everyone is heeding all appropriate guidelines for social distancing and staying safe and home where able. This is a crazy time and we do not know when sports of any sort will be back, for campuses big and small. This of course includes athletics at the University of North Dakota. In the mean time of all of this, we reached out to the General Manager of Ralph Engelstad Arena Jody Hodgson. Keep in mind that unlike the NHL and NBA, College Hockey lost its postseason. While some teams in the WCHA and other conferences knew their fates in the week before things were shutdown, the, NCHC postseason was supposed to launch the week things shutdown.

Men’s College Hockey lost all of its postseason for most of its teams, and that will impact the bottom line for UND Athletics and more.

For those not aware, the Ralph is a non profit with for-profit operating principles. All net profits it makes every year are turned over to the UND Athletics Department at the end of each event year.

Check out Jody’s answers on this situation below

1. Is the Ralph paying part time staff for cancelled events as needed through the end of the needed social distancing as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic?

” Jody’s Response: We are not planning to pay part-time event employees for hours not worked. Luckily, we were able to complete the regular season and the regular season represents the significant majority of hours for all of our part-time event employees. At most, we may have three home playoff dates to complete the 2019-2020 athletics season.”

2. Does the Ralph have any employee assistance program to help those workers who may be relying on any upcoming events to help pay bills/other expenses?

“Jody’s Response: We do have an EAP program and we will take care of our employees.”

3. What are the criterion needed for the Ralph to resume business as usual?

“Jody’s Response: This is such a fluid situation, the answer to that is yet to be determined. We’ll take our guidance from the CDC and the local public health agencies. For the time being, we will comply with the CDC guideline regarding events and gatherings.”

4. What is the early projected loss to the Ralph as a result of the NCHC first round series being cancelled and how does that harm UND Athletics?

“Jody’s Response: The playoffs are typically worth about $200,000 in net profit to us. It sure does harm UND Athletics because that is $200,000 worth of net profit that we won’t have to allocate to them at the end of the year.”

Add anything else about this situation you would like.

“Jody’s Response: Like most others in the community, we’re gathering information and trying to stay ahead of this thing as best we can. We will comply with the regulations of the CDC and local public health agencies.”

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