I was excited to take part in the Super Bowl as a volunteer.
I was chosen as one of the Super Bowl LVIII volunteers alongside thousands of others.After training, I helped pass out swag in Las Vegas and take photos of football fans for hours. I would volunteer again, even though I didn’t actually get to watch the game in person.
Last June, a segment on FOX 5 Vegas calling for Super Bowl LVIII volunteers caught my attention.
The upcoming game would be at Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, less than two hours away from my home in Mesquite, Nevada.
I’d always wanted to go to the Super Bowl, but at over $5,000 a ticket, that dream is way beyond the financial reality of the average Joe. It seemed exciting to at least be a small part of football’s most revered event — one I’ve been a faithful fan of since I was a kid.
So, my husband and I filled out a simple application online and were among the 7,000 chosen to volunteer. Thousands of others got waitlisted.
Volunteers aren’t promised Super Bowl tickets or a chance to see the game live, but we approached the adventure with open minds.
Training began months before the Super Bowl
We drove to and from training sessions and volunteer shifts.
In November, we attended our official 90-minute training, where host-committee Team LVIII organizers mapped out the flow of events and how we’d all communicate.
Our small training class had volunteers from all over — Canada, Kansas, Alaska, Florida, California, Massachusetts, and New Mexico, to name a few.
I was amazed people were flying into town for this, especially since visiting Vegas can be expensive, and there was no guarantee we’d even set foot in the stadium.
Since the Super Bowl is one of the highest-ranked security events in the nation, the session had a government-agency safety briefing, too.
We were instructed to wear some of our Team LVIII swag items during each shift.
We also picked up our free swag with the Super Bowl LVIII logo.
Our bounty included a stadium-approved clear bag, pins, dice, a hat, a lanyard, a poker chip, sunglasses, and the uniform T-shirt and hoodie.
Tasks varied, but it seemed like our big goal was to spread cheer
Our volunteer list spanned the globe and nearly every state.
Las Vegas hosted hundreds of thousands of people to celebrate the historic weekend, and our job was to help them feel welcome.
Volunteers were stationed throughout iconic city landmarks, from The Strip to Allegiant Stadium to Harry Reid International Airport.
The host committee suggested volunteers work three or four shifts between Thursday and Super Bowl Sunday.
We chose two on The Strip and one at Fremont Street for a total of 12½ volunteer hours. We also spent about seven hours driving to and from our gigs.
Each day brought forth its unique rhythm as we shuttled to our designated locations to do whatever was in store.
Our tasks ranged from capturing guests’ smiles in front of Super Bowl LVIII displays to distributing collectible swag items.
We became informal ambassadors of goodwill, providing directions around town and answering questions of every nature. We also got to know many fellow volunteers and exchanged email addresses for future meetups.
Overall, I thought the hosting committee operated smoothly. I was extra impressed because this was the city’s first time hosting a Super Bowl.
We didn’t watch the game in person, but we got a lot out of the experience
Over four days, we saw how powerful the love of football could be.
We weren’t invited to watch the big game live from Allegiant Stadium. Instead, we drove back to Mesquite to watch it from the comfort of our home.
But we were OK with it. We were never promised tickets, and we had a wonderful time volunteering and would gladly do it again.
There were several places in Vegas where we could watch the game, but we headed home.
If you’re a football fanatic, this also may be the gig for you. But you don’t have to love football to volunteer — you just need to enjoy interacting with people.
Over the four-day extravaganza, I witnessed how a love of football could transcend all rivalry and help us form human connections.
My 50-year dream of being part of the Super Bowl was realized, though not through a seat in the stadium — through the spirit of volunteering.