Allegiant has added a one-time, direct flight from Grand Forks to Nashville for fans planning to attend UND's U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game against Penn State in October.
The game is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. on Oct. 17 in Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators.
The Allegiant flight is scheduled to leave Grand Forks for Nashville on Thursday and return Sunday.
“We know the University of North Dakota has a very passionate fan base and want to ensure the phenomenal student-athletes playing on the ice have full support from a sea of green in the stands,” said Drew Wells, Allegiant vice president of planning and revenue. “The Hall of Fame game is a terrific opportunity for the athletes to showcase their skills while also raising crucial funds to support the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum in Minnesota.”
In addition, Allegiant also announced it will begin a direct flight from Fargo to Nashville this summer. That route also will offer Thursday and Sunday flights surrounding UND's destination game.
The 17,159-seat Bridgestone Arena is already sold out for the Hall of Fame Game.
Ralph Engelstad Arena general manager Jody Hodgson previously told the Herald that officials at Grand Forks International Airport were working on adding flights.
"They're working with the carriers to try and see if we can add flights or if arrangements can be made to meet what we think is going to be heavy local demand," Hodgson said. "Much like the Las Vegas event, the carriers added planes and larger planes in order to accommodate demand. We're optimistic that carriers out of Grand Forks will be able to do that again and help us accommodate what we think is going to be significant demand for travel."
To accommodate the large anticipated crowd, UND and REA have set aside 2,500 hotel rooms at 27 different properties located everywhere from downtown to the Opryland Resort to the Vanderbilt area. They are available for booking now at www.theralph.com/nashville.
"We think that's really going to provide a great event experience for our fans," Hodgson said. "When you think of it, there's nothing better than walking into an event hotel where it's branded. You're going to see green and white everywhere.
"Nashville is one of America's great tourist destinations. It's an absolute Southern boom town today. It's one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., and certainly, it's Music City USA. When you talk about the fan experience and everything we hope to provide for our fans, certainly the focal point for these neutral-site weekends has become the fan experience and the ancillary events that we're able to plan around it."