Staging the nation’s largest sports spectacle requires a lot of help, as was underscored Wednesday when Atlanta’s 2019 Super Bowl host committee began its search for up to 10,000 volunteers.
The committee kicked off its volunteer program, dubbed Team ATL, by officially opening the online application process. Face-to-face interviews and background checks will be required before applicants can join the event’s volunteer force.
Super Bowl LIII will be played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Feb. 3 and will be preceded by 10 days of related events that organizers expect to draw combined crowds of more than 1 million.
The volunteers “will become the face of Atlanta” by serving as city ambassadors during that 10-day stretch, said Brett Daniels, the host committee’s chief operating officer. “These individuals will be the ones at the airport greeting our guests. They’ll be the ones (the guests) see in Centennial Olympic Park and around the Georgia World Congress Center. They’ll be in the hotel lobbies giving directions, helping out, being a smiling friendly face.”
The volunteers will assist with various events staged by the host committee and the NFL, such as Super Bowl Live, a series of concerts, fireworks shows and other activities expected to be held in the park. They’ll also be visible on street corners, in and around MARTA stations and other places where visitors might need assistance, Daniels said.
What the volunteers will not do, it should be pointed out, is work inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday.
“That is one of the things we want to make sure people are aware of – this is not a game-day stadium role,” Daniels said. “This is for all the events and activities leading up to the game.”
And no, volunteers won’t get access to Super Bowl tickets.
The host committee introduced the first five members of its volunteer force – all veterans of volunteering with major sports events here – during a ceremony Wednesday at the Metro Atlanta Chamber offices.
“This will be my third time around,” said Walter Banks, the legendary longtime Braves usher who also helped with Super Bowls here in 1994 and 2000.
People interested in joining the volunteer force can begin the process by applying online at ATLSuperBowl53.com/volunteer/. Applications will be reviewed and interviews scheduled for the summer, said Lee Hendrickson, the host committee’s vice president of community engagement and volunteer programs
“Once interviews are done, we will have a background check to make sure everything is safe and secure and ready to go,” she said.
The committee is seeking “enthusiastic and knowledgeable” volunteers, Daniels said.
Role-specific training for the approved volunteers will be scheduled late in the year.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old when submitting their application, must commit to working a minimum of three shifts ranging from four to six hours each and will receive a custom-designed uniform, which will be unveiled later this year.