Wide-ranging panel eyes restart of Fighting Hawks events

UND Athletics Venues & Events Group represents Alerus Center, REA, UND and local governmental agencies

Fighting Hawks football

The newly formed UND Athletics Venues & Events Group is planning for the thoughtful re-opening of local venues and other events spaces for Fighting Hawks Athletics, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommendations and with respect to evolving local, state and national restart guidance. Photo by Shawna Schill/UND Today.

 

The UND fall sports season is just around the corner.

As the State and nation consider the safest and most prudent ways to restart aspects of society on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a wide-ranging working group of Grand Forks area events coordinators — representing  Alerus Center, Ralph Engelstad Arena, the University of North Dakota and governmental agencies – are already planning for the thoughtful re-opening of local venues and other events spaces for Fighting Hawks Athletics. Their work is being done in strict accordance with Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommendations and with respect to evolving local, state and national restart guidance.

The UND Athletics Venues & Events Group is chaired by UND Athletics Director Bill Chaves. It convened for the first time in early May, via Zoom conference call, to discuss organizational tasks and responsibilities, goals and timelines, opportunities for collaboration and next steps. The group has been meeting weekly, with the goal of having a final plan in place before Aug. 1.

This group will provide the opportunity to verify that all State and local plans for re-socialization are consistent with the NCAA’s Core Principles document for the re-socialization of collegiate sport.

“There’s a collaborative spirit that’s long existed in Grand Forks among our public events centers and venues,” Chaves said. “And as we look forward to ways to safely and appropriately bring smiles, cheers and excitement of Fighting Hawks Athletics back to our buildings, we have an opportunity to use that synergy to do things right with a cohesive plan that makes sense for each of our venues while keeping the public’s wellbeing as our top priority.”

The group’s makeup taps into the facilities management, operations, communications and public safety expertise of the community.

The working group comprises:

From Alerus Center — Jonathan Greene, Director of Operations; Daniel Melise, Assistant General Manager; Anna Rosburg, General Manager.

From REA — Jody Hodgson, General Manager; Charlie Muus, Director of Maintenance & Operations; Scott Polley, Custodial Manager; Kelvin Ziegler, Director of Events.

From the City/County — Todd Feland, City Administrator; Tom Ford, Grand Forks County Director of Administration; Marcus Lee, Regional Emergency Preparedness & Response Coordinator; Ken Vein, City Council and member of the Alerus Center Commission.

From UND — Jennifer Berger, Director of Emergency Management; Bill Chaves (Group Chair), Director of Athletics; David Dodds, Director of Communications; Cassie Gerhardt, Associate Dean of Students; Erik Martinson, Associate Director of Athletics – Operations; Lindsay Sannes, Athletics Administration Coordinator; and Steve Westereng, Chair of the Sports Medicine Department.

For more information about the working group, its scope of work and progress, or to connect with individual members and/or venue managers, please contact David Dodds at 701.777.5529, or at david.dodds@UND.edu.

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David L. Dodds
Director of Communications
Division of Marketing & Communications
University of North Dakota
david.dodds@UND.edu
O: 701.777.5529