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The Chester Fritz Auditorium is located on the campus of the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks. The large venue presents concerts, Broadway musicals and other shows, as well as hosting major university events.
The Chester Fritz Auditorium is the result of a $1 million donation in 1965 by University of North Dakota alumnus Chester Fritz. The state of South Dakota and private donors contributed an additional $2 million. In October of 1972, the Chester Fritz Auditorium held its first-ever concert: a performance by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic Choir.
The Chester Fritz Auditorium calendar features a wide variety of shows and events, including hosting the national touring companies of Broadway musicals, family shows, major cultural institutions such as the Moscow Ballet, local choirs and dance troupes, and UND performers, such as a capella groups. The North Dakota Ballet Company, Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, Grand Forks City Band and Grand Forks Master Chorale also perform regularly at the Chester Fritz Auditorium.
The Chester Fritz Auditorium has a capacity of 2,384 and offers a choice of main floor, mezzanine and balcony seating. Ticket-holders should be aware that there are no concessions available inside the venue.
Grand Forks, North Dakota attractions include historic buildings downtown and in the Near Southside Historic District, which features hundreds of fine examples of late Victorian architecture. The UND campus is considered an arts and cultural hub of the city. In addition to the Chester Fritz Auditorium, it is home to the North Dakota Museum of Art. The museum offers free admission to its three galleries of contemporary art, and also hosts a musical concert series.
Other venues in Grand Forks include the Alerus Center, an indoor arena that's the home of University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks Football; the Ralph Engelstad Arena, an ice hockey arena on the UND campus; and the Empire Arts Center downtown. Grand Forks also offers some acclaimed golf courses, most notably the Arnold Palmer-designed King's Walk Golf Course.
Regarding his $1 million gift to the University of North Dakota for the construction of the venue, international financier Chester Fritz stated: "Because auditoriums serve as a force for uplifting the human spirit, it is my hope that this building will be an additional means by which future students at my alma mater may gain clear visions of truth and beauty and integrity, and that the added opportunities for weighing comparative values will inspire listening students to rise to higher plains of world understanding, purpose and stewardship."