Labor Planning in a Super Bowl Host City

Are you located in a Super Bowl host city? Chances are if you live and work in a major US city you have or may someday host the NFL Super Bowl. If so, are you prepared for the workforce management challenges that come along with the big game? As exciting as it is, virtually every industry in a host city is dramatically impacted. This week, Indianapolis hosts one of the biggest sporting events in the world, with about 10 days of festivities leading up to the game on Sunday. Here’s just a few of the workforce management challenges I’ve read about already from news coverage of the event:

Indianapolis city workers preparing for Super Bowl XVLI. Photos by: Perry Reichanadter

–          8000 volunteers are working in the Super Bowl Village this week,

–          Public safety officials are preparing for over 150,000 visitors this week. Indianapolis has reportedly invested millions of dollars and worked with local, state and federal agencies to try to keep all those people safe. Up to 1,000 city police officers will be in the stadium and on the street

–          80 temporary structures were built and are being used for Super Bowl-related events in downtown Indianapolis this week

–          Local TV news operations have built temporary studios downtown, budgeted thousands for overtime, between now and Feb. 6, the day after Super Bowl XLVI. Industry sources said the cost of equipment and overtime spent covering the event likely will range from$20,000 to $50,000 for each of the four local affiliates.

–          Department of public works and transportation teams have spend weeks creating and re-directing traffic patterns in and around the city, including countless barricades and new traffic signs/signals

–          Hotels have been booked to capacity for months, with visitors extending out into the suburbs miles outside of the city

–          Restaurants have reservations filled from Thursday through Sunday, with additional staff planned and limited menu items to maximize their ability to efficiently service customers

–          The Super Bowl Village and City Market renovations were funded by a federal grant of $8 million which must have labor and project tracking tied to it

The most interesting thing to me is not the typical workforce management challenges of reducing labor costs and automating manual processes that each organization – regardless of the industry will face. I’m curious how organizations can accurately plan in advance for the necessary labor requirements needed and how will they effectively adjust their staffing this week in the “heat of the moment”. I suppose they could use some rough comparisons to past events (Indy has hosted the NCAA Basketball Final Four on multiple occasions and the Indy 500 each year, although these are not near the magnitude of the Super Bowl).

Retail stores will have little forecast planning data to go on for scheduling. Will hospitals need to rely on multiple agencies to augment staffing requirements? Will it snow on game day, requiring DOT and public works staff to call in additional staff (if they have it) for snow removal?

While the amount of revenue from hosting the Super Bowl can be in the $100s of millions for local businesses, it still requires effective labor planning and execution to maximize sales or services. If you have been involved in hosting a similar type of event (national political convention, Olympic games, etc.) how did it impact your organization’s workforce management abilities?

One thought on “Labor Planning in a Super Bowl Host City

  1. Labor planning is an essential part of work management. It can successfully create jobs according to the needs and demands of the current job requirement for several people.

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