The Old Barn
"The Barn" located on the southeast edge of campus beside the railroad tracks, seemed especially appropriate for the original indoor home of the Fighting Sioux. While it was known by various names including the "Winter Sports Building," "The Barn" was a quonset covered with corrugated steel such as one you might find on a farmstead in rural North Dakota.
Built in 1936 for $46,000 as a Works Progress Administration project, The Barn was also used by track and football teams and troops training for World War II. The fans at the first hockey games ever played in The Barn watched UND sweep North Dakota Agriculture College (NDSU) 6-5 and 5-0.
The Barn provided an incredible hockey experience for any level of fan. Whether you were a young boy dreaming of playing for the Sioux, or you were one of the 4,000 UND students, fans, or alumni that jammed themselves into The Barn, the college hockey atmosphere created at UND was one of the most unique venues in the nation.
The overall atmosphere of The Barn was created by not only the intense hockey and the crazy fans, but the overall character of The Barn which included the chicken wire strung between the pipes that served as a "poor man's" Plexiglass, creating a very personal atmosphere among players and spectators. Also, the entertainment provided by the late Al Purpur during intermission watching him artfully resurface the ice with a pre Zamboni apparatus that he constructed and pulled across the ice.
The Barn was the home of the Fighting Sioux hockey team up until 1972 when the home ice advantages of playing at there soon became handicaps. The Barn hampered recruiting and other teams would grumble about having to play in Grand Forks. The prospect of being forced out of its Division 1 college hockey status led members of UND to begin funding drives for a new winter sports venue.
The final hockey game at The Barn was played on March 8, 1972 against the University of Michigan Wolverines in a league playoff battle in which the Sioux won 10-2.
After 394 hockey games played over a span of 30 plus years The Barn was demolished in the summer of 1978.