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Rise of the Machines: Robot Bartenders Replace Human Vendors at Target Field in Time for All-Star Game

Rise of the Machines: Robot Bartenders Replace Human Vendors at Target Field in Time for All-Star Game

You can’t be umpire and fan, no matter how much the latter tries. At Target Field, you can be bartender and drinker.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that the four-year-old field has unveiled self-serving beer stands just in time for the All-Star Game. The mechanized Minneapolis Moe Szyslaks pour an amount of beer requested by the purchaser up to 48 ounces. A pre-paid credit card allows fans to make the human-to-machine transaction.

At 38 cents an ounce for Bud and Bud Light, drinkers can essentially buy the equivalent of a can of beer for $4.56 or the near-equivalent of two Foster’s king cans for $18.24. Fans can choose from several craft beers at two-cents more an ounce.

The robot bartenders, created by a company called DraftServ (Code name for Skynet?), refuse to serve any speed drinkers who have purchased a beer within the previous fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, imperious sober-side-of-the-bar edicts such as last call remain in force with the gizmos usurping the people. Obsolete humans will prowl about to ensure that people too drunk or too young don’t fill their cups. Fortunately, the machines don’t expect a tip.

Despite eliminating the middleman, the Twins, stadium owner the Minnesota Ballpark Authority (AKA the state government), and concessionaire Delaware North won’t be passing off the savings to the customer. Team Marketing Report priced beer at Target Field at 38 cents per ounce last season. The price puts the Twins in the middle of the pack. Team Marketing Report listed Fenway Park as serving the most expensive beer at 60 cents an ounce and The Big A as the cheapest at 28 cents an ounce. 

Target Stadium hosts the midsummer classic, the first featuring robot barkeeps, on July 15. When does automation replace injury-prone players with sturdy robots ignorant of disabled lists and free agency?

Photo credit: DraftServ

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