Category Archives: Super Bowl XL

Not so XL economic impact

A new study pegs the economic impact of Super Bowl XL at just under $50 million. That figure is just a shade, or 83% to be more precise, below what was initially forecast.

Whether it is $50 million or $300 million in total, I just wish I had the foresight to get into the portable heater rental business 4 years ago.

More Super Bowl XL

I’m really wishing right now that I would have launched that Super Bowl XL blog I was thinking about back in October. This site doesn’t get many hits, and I’ve made all of 5 Super Bowl posts, and yet I’m still getting traffic. Besides, then Ben Roethlisberger and I could have had something in common.
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Super Bowl Volunteering

If you have a Super Bowl, and no media show up, does it make a sound? That’s the question I was asking myself during my volunteer shift yesterday morning. My gig was from 7:00am until 12:00pm at Metro Airport. My assignment: to ride the shuttles with media from the airport to their hotels in Detroit and Livonia. During my 5 hour shift I encountered exactly 5 media (not counting Pat Vitaly from WWJ) at the Macnamara Terminal. Needless to say it was a little boring.

Now clearly there are media in Detroit, and they are here for Super Bowl XL. Some have written positive things, others have written realistic things, and others have just been mean. But where how were they getting in without being seen? From what I was able to gather by eavesdropping on various conversations, the people in the terminals (like gate agents and such) didn’t know about the media shuttles departing from the baggage claim area. So it seemed that some members of the media were being directed to conventional ground transportation instead of the shuttles.
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SB XL Pep Rally

On Saturday I attended the very, very, long pep rally for Super Bowl XL volunteers. I know in my last post I was pretty critical of the process. However, after seeing the magnitude of what they’re trying to manage, I have a little more sympathy. I understood all along that there were 8000 volunteers, but I guess seeing them all in one place kind of put it in perspective.
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The assignments are out

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m a Super Bowl XL volunteer. Back in the fall I remember being impressed with the organization of the volunteer coordinators, and being really excited to be part of the event. All that has diminished in the last few months.

I received my assignment yesterday. The assignments were supposed to have been sent out at the end of November. The tardiness wouldn’t bother me so much, because it is a monumental task. However, there was absolutely no communication about the delay. No emails, letters or phone calls and the volunteer website was taken down.

As for my actual assignment, I can’t complain too much. The shift I was assigned was a shift I signed up for. However, it is only one shift. Way back when it was time to sign up, it was required you sign up for at least two shifts. I’m somewhat disappointed to only get one.

That disappointment about only one shift is compounded when you take into account the amount of training that is required. First there was the customer service training – which was 3 hours long. And then there is the mandatory pep rally. The mandatory pep rally is 4 hours long if your name is in the first half of the alphabet (3 if it is in the second half). I shudder to think how mind numbingly boring a 4 hour pep rally will be. Not to mention the fact I have to commit 7 hours of training to do a single 5 hour shift.

And then there is the issue of parking for the pep rally. The pep rally is at Ford Field, and parking is provided. However, there is only one small lot East of Woodward available. The rest of the lots are in the Cass/Grand River area. Why couldn’t the lots around Ford Field and Comerica be made available?

I know it sounds like a lot of bitching about something I volunteered to do. I new about the two meetings in advance (not the length of them though), but I expected more volunteer time. I’m still looking forward to my assignment, but all this other stuff sure is dampening my excitement.

The World is Coming

The World is Coming to Detroit for Super Bowl XL, and when they do they’ll meet me. You see, I signed up to be a SBXL volunteer. Now I don’t get to be at the game, and I may not even be near Ford Field. However, I wanted to participate in this event somehow, and this was probably my best option. Believe it or not, Detroit has a lot to offer. While I’m continually frustrated by many elements of the city, I still take pride and want people to have as favorable impression as possible.

I don’t know my assignment yet, and I won’t find out until the end of November – provided I pass the FBI background check. However, I will probably be involved somehow with the shuttle system – most likely riding on the buses with the media. I also found out that in January I’ll be receiving a pretty slick looking SBXL coat as my uniform. This is free to me provided that I actually attend my shifts – otherwise my credit card will be billed $100.

I learned of the uniform and many other facts at a training session that I attended a couple weeks ago. All volunteers are required to attend the 2.5 hour training session and a pep rally on January 14th. I have to say I was quite impressed with the level of preparation at the training session – especially considering the size of the host committee staff. A dozen or so people are overseeing thousands of volunteers. We were provided with a brief training manual and customer service training. To give you an idea of the level of detail that is being provided there was a full page to help explain a Michigan Left.

If the volunteer preparation is at all indicative of the preparation in general, I think that Detroit should come off just fine.