Now, think about an outdoor stadium in downtown Minneapolis.
After a decade of attempts, the Twins were able to lock up funding for a new facility this year, but it came with a caveat: no extra funds for a roof. From that point on there have been talks of how to at least put a curb on the cold for those Spring and Fall time games:
For all the early talk about heating the Twins' newly approved stadium, including the field and possibly the seats, making it work poses significant challenges. Using hot water from the cooling tower of the adjacent Hennepin Energy Recovery Center, a waste-to-energy garbage burning plant built in 1989, remains one possibility.
However, both technological and legal questions remain.
Installing heated seats, while never really seen by the Twins as a viable option, may already have been discarded as impractical because of inadequate technology. Few large outdoor stadiums use heated seats -- and one National Football League team that has, the Buffalo Bills, reports that 40 percent of them had quit working because of mechanical problems over the past winter.
However, the Twins and Hennepin County officials are confident that other options can work as the Twins move toward outdoor baseball in 2010 after a quarter century in the climate-controlled Metrodome.
One compromise, which both the Boston Red Sox and the NFL's Cleveland Browns have used variations of, would make radiant heat available through overhead ducts. In the case of the Browns, whose stadium opened in 1999, the radiant heat is provided only for a limited number of outdoor seats used by luxury suite ticket holders.