SBD/July 8, 2014/Facilities

Target Field Debuts Self-Serve Beer Machines Ahead Of Next Week's MLB All-Star Game

Fans scan their card at the machine and can regulate how much they pour
Target Field has "rolled out self-serve beer machines" called DraftServ, and a "second station will be added" in time for next week’s MLB All-Star Game, according to Paul Walsh of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The machines "let fans decide for themselves exactly the size brew" they want. The first station "made its wet run" Sunday during the Yankees-Twins game. Target Field concessionaire Delaware North GM Pete Spike said that the ballpark is "the first MLB venue to have the machines" and that he is "unaware of any NFL, NBA or NHL teams having the devices." Walsh notes patrons "buy vending cards and use them to dispense beer from the machines." There are "four beers to choose from, with per-ounce pricing based on the cost charged in face-to-face transactions." Spike said the debut "worked really well." He added that "about 200 cards were sold Sunday." Spike said that there is "also a chance that soda could join in the vending trend." Walsh notes the machines are "made by Georgia-based DraftServ Technologies, which has been in the self-serve beer business" since '07 and counts Carnival Cruises among its clients (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/8). Twins ‎Dir of Corporate & Digital Communications Chris Isles said, "It's a fun, cool new gadget. We've been all about embracing technology, so we jumped at the opportunity that nobody has done before" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 7/8).

BUSCH LEAGUE: ESPN.com's Darren Rovell noted DraftServ machines are a "partnership between concessionaire Delaware North and Anheuser-Busch." Fans scan their card at the DraftServ machine and can "regulate how much they want to have poured." Delaware North Principal Owner Jerry Jacobs said, "There's obviously some novelty value to this, but it also allows people to pour what they want. If they want half of a cup, that's all they will pay for." Rovell noted an employee will be at each machine to "check IDs if a person looks younger than 30 and to prevent any fan who appears inebriated from purchasing beer" (ESPN.com, 7/7). In Syracuse, Chris Carlson noted while the self-serve technology has been used at bars in major cities, it appears to be the "first time it had made its way into a sporting event." The machine will "likely do what most machines have done through history: Increasing the speed at which beer is dispensed and allow vendors to cut staff and increase profits" (SYRACUSE.com, 7/7).
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