MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Twins traded bats and gloves for shovels and mittens Wednesday. Fans are expecting to sit through one of the coldest opening days since Target Field opened in 2010.
There will be no Twins players warming the bench tomorrow; the bench will actually be warming them. It’s heated and so is the dugout. From the dugout, to the dig out, Target Field is just about ready.
Baseball season may be upon us, but around here seasons are relative, especially spring.
“Yeah, it’s not a real good feeling, come in Opening Day like this,” Gary Glawe, the senior director of facilities, said.
A lot of the work fall on him. Glawe has had to bring the heat in ways he never has before.
“We really haven’t had to endure since we had open here in 2010, but it’s an awesome challenge,” he said.
They are plowing right through it. Crews dug out the outfield, the infield’s a heated 70 degrees. Volunteers from the front office brought their own shovels to clear the concourse.
They’re using recycled energy from trash burned at Hennepin Energy Recovery Center next door, in order to melt the layers of ice and 10 inches of snow.
“So we’re pushing a bunch of 1 inch water hoses at a high volume at about a 130-degree water temperature,” Glawe said. “That’ll cut through ice and snow pretty fast.”
Even though opening day will be in the 30s, those tough conditions attract tough fans, like Steve Rhoe of Columbia Heights. He and his wife Molly spent Wednesday afternoon shopping in the Clubhouse for a warm opening day hat.
Steve just finished six brutal rounds of chemo. After being told he had a month to live last fall, he’s rebounded. If cancer couldn’t stop him from seeing his beloved Twins this season, cold weather certainly won’t either.
“There’s nothing you can do about it, the weather’s the weather,” he said.
The facilities manager had a big piece of advice for anyone coming out tomorrow: forget the flip flops or sneakers, and instead wear boots. As hard as they are working, there may still be icy spots.
Glawe also warns that, because of the 3:10 p.m. start, most of the stadium will be in the shade, so he suggests fans bundle up.