Hockey bleachers get a little bit warmer thanks to this startup


It's no secret Minnesotans deal with a lot of cold; and in the state of hockey, a brisk hockey arena is a given. But the chill from sitting on those bleachers? A frigid fanny is something we can live without.

A Lakeville startup company has a solution to make the stands a little more cozy, while fans cheer on their favorite team tearing it up on the ice.

Arena Comfort Products has developed a "pay-per-use heated-seat system." Basically, the company uses a thin heating element, like the one put in granite countertops to warm them up, and installs them under the seats, KSTP explains.

The element is heated to 105-110 degrees, which will warm up the seat to a comfortable 70 degrees. Those who want to rough it don't have to get a heated seat; users pay per use at a kiosk.

See how it works here:

The company has launched a crowd-funding campaign trying to raise $1 million to pay for installing the heated seats in 250 ice rinks across the country. It costs $4,000 per rink to install the heated seats. Each dollar donated is a vote for your local rink.

Owner Jahn Stopperman tells the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal the company will install the seats in as many rinks as it raises money for, even if it falls short of that $1 million goal. The company is targeting older rinks because newer arenas tend to have better climate control.

Arenas are already lining up, including facilities in Apple Valley, Richfield and Blaine.

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