The Committee spent the past 3 years preparing for the weeklong celebration that kicks off on Sunday, January 26th, culminating in the big game on February 2nd. They plan to post approximately 14,000 volunteers, clad in bright yellow jackets, at area airports, transit hubs, and tourist locations, to provide directions and information to visitors. Applicants who passed a background check were invited to participate in an orientation session, designed to provide an overview of the week’s events and to outline what’s expected of the volunteers.
The Committee designed the mantra, “More SUPER with YOU”, to remind volunteers about proper etiquette: S for smile, U for understand, P for proactive engagement, E for energy and enthusiasm and R for respect. One of the evening’s facilitators asked the audience to picture themselves working their way through Penn Station at 5:30 on a Friday night. Then she asked them to imagine that it was their first time in New York. Visitors will be confused and have questions and may be angry or upset. As a Super Bowl volunteer, we have the opportunity to make their way a bit easier and maybe they’ll come to understand why we’re so in love with our wacky, wonderful city.
Uniform pickups begin this weekend. Each volunteer receives a jacket, fleece, mock turtleneck, 2 scarves, ear band, baseball cap and gloves. Serious swag. Prior to pickup you must have attended an orientation session and volunteered for at least 2 shifts. During the next couple of weeks, a mobile app will go live providing volunteers with plenty of valuable information to assist them in performing their duties. Maybe they’ll include the answer to the old joke, “Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?” Since New York routinely hosts monstrous crowds (for example, every New Year’s Eve, over a million people crowd Times Square), this should be a routine walk in Central Park. Our Super Bowl will be unique in many ways: the first hosted by two states and two NFL franchises; the first held in a northeast city in an open air, cold weather venue. I think organizers are proud of these firsts, but I sense they’re committed to making sure it’s the best as well.