For a slightly higher price than a regular ticket – $34 instead of the usual $22 for the Minnesota Twins – fans get a seat with a decent but distant view and a 3 ½-hour window to enjoy all the hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts, pretzels, soda and water they can hold down. (Not a bad deal considering even water runs between $3 and $6 most places these days.)

At a recent Twins vs. Cleveland Indians game, ball fan Charlie Romain proudly told AP sports writer Dave Campbell he had just scarfed down “four hot dogs, three nachos, a pretzel, some popcorn” and four sodas – all in the space of an hour.

Apparently the all-you-can-eat idea is spreading like wildfire as major league teams feel the pinch of the current economic climate, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers all offering fans a license to pig out.

As Live Nation and other promoters try to come up with creative ways to get butts into seats, especially in amphitheatres during the summer months, this might not be a bad idea for them to try. After all, how much of this kind of food can most people eat anyway?

Chris Iles, a spokesman for the Twins said the team wasn’t worried about losing money on the deal because it doesn’t include beer or sundaes and ends at 9 p.m. whether the game is over or not.

Of course, there could be trouble if too many fans like North Central University students Jorge Retamal and Ron Benson, who see all-you-can-eat as a challenge and not just a good deal, show up.

Benson told Campbell his goal was to eat 20 hot dogs.