In an otherwise forgettable season for the Minnesota Twins, who are nine games below .500 and sit in last place in the AL Central, one new attraction at Target Field should have fans excited.
The team has installed one self-serving beer station and plans to have another up and running by the time of next week's All-Star Game in Minneapolis. It is believed to be the first such contraption at a MLB stadium, and possibly the first at any NFL, NBA or NHL venue.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, patrons can purchase a vending card for the beer station by showing proper ID to a concessions cashier. Normally people can only put $10 or $20 on the card, but for the All-Star Game that limit will increase to $50.
Here's what the machines look like:
Fans scan their card at a machine and choose between four beers. These include Bud and Bud Light (38 cents per ounce) and Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale (40 cents per ounce). The prices are more or less consistent with what the team normally charges for an ounce of beer (38 cents, according to 2013 data).
Customers max out at 48 ounces of beer per 15 minutes, and the machines, which will have employees on hand to check for ID and fan who have already had too much, shut down by the seventh inning.
The Twins are toward the middle of the spectrum when it comes to beer prices in MLB. The Boston Red Sox led the pack in 2013 with a 60 cents per ounce price tag while the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were the lowest at 28 cents an ounce.
"There's obviously some novelty value to this, but it also allows people to pour what they want," Jerry Jacobs Jr., principal of concessionaire Delaware North, told ESPN's Darren Rovell. "If they want half of a cup, that's all they will pay for."