Name plates and number are done by EPS still. This is why a roster and what number they get is done early in the summer so Pat Swanson can get all that information off to them. They also send in "extra" jersey just in case they bring someone in mid season or in case a player switches numbers.
So you seem to be stating that the Alerus would not have been an upgrade over the old Winter Sports Building.
Seem to recall that their wasn't sellouts after their 1997 championship.
We will never know, as UND knew it had a donor in Ralph and wasn't worried. But no one thought a new arena would be as grand as it was.