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Lynx Drop $1M To Cool Williams Arena During Playoffs

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minnesota Lynx are in the middle of another playoff run, trying to win their fourth WNBA championship.

And in order to do that, they are playing their games at Williams Arena due to renovations at Target Center. And the Xcel Energy Center isn't available because the Minnesota Wild are getting ready for their new season.

Because the 90-year-old arena doesn't have air conditioning, it forced the team to install a unique system that meets WNBA standards.

On Thursday night, as Lynx fans left the heat and humidity outside and walked into the cool comforts inside, they passed by an organized mess of tangled tubing.

"It looks like a big spider or something," said fan Barbara Metzger.

Temporary Air Condition For Minnesota Lynx At Williams Arena
The temporary air conditioning for the Minnesota Lynx at Williams Arena (credit: CBS)

Scott Werner is fine with any of those nicknames. He's the service center manager for Aggreko -- the company that built the giant air conditioner that was required after the WNBA learned the Lynx would be playing at Williams Arena.

"We've heard that called a spaghetti mess or a giant octopus," Werner said.

The Lynx contacted Aggreko in July, who immediately flew in engineers and materials from across the country.

"Our goal with the WNBA is to get it somewhere between 61 and 71 [degrees], the ideal playing conditions for our players," said Lynx President Chris Wright.

Werner says this is "the coolest project" Aggreko has ever done. Some crews worked 12 hours a day to install the system, installing eight blue chillers into a tight space.

They feed into more than a dozen air handlers. Two-hundred-and-twenty pieces of white flex ducting keeps it all together.

It's an AC system designed to keep the Lynx cool, so they can stay hot.

"The temperature right now is about 65 degrees inside," Werner said. "Last week we had it at about 59 degrees, but we got some feedback that it was a little bit cold."

The Lynx paid $1 million to have the system installed. It will be taken down after the playoffs.

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