[Hey guys! Have a great job idea for y’all today as part of our Side Hustle Series. As many of you know NFL football is back (yeah, pre-season!), so if you’ve ever dreamed of
playing working for your favorite team one day, this could be your ticket :) I’ll see you at the end of the year when my Redskins finally redeem themselves! Watch out!]
Hi there, I’m Liz, and I’ve been side hustling almost as long as I’ve been working. One of my favorite side hustles was when I worked security at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. If only because of the looks I would get when talking about what the job entailed (I’m 5′ 2″ and was part of the team responding to fights).
I first found out about the possibility of working at a stadium from a friend. It was great because it was typically a weekend job, but it wasn’t an every weekend job. I was also able to call in for extra shifts during the week when I had the time.
While they need everyone for games, they still need staff during the week for the other events they have like office parties, conferences, trade shows, and sometimes even commercial shoots. My second day I did elevator security for a commercial Tedy Bruschi was shooting! (He is super nice by the way)
How to Get Started at a Stadium
You don’t need to hear about it from a friend; you just have to go to the stadium’s website and look at their job opportunities. They are almost always hiring, especially as pre-season gets underway. It’s a great time to apply. They will likely have several job fairs to get ready for the season too. If you Google your local stadium and “job opportunities” it should pop up.
[Editor’s Note: I just Googled and found about 30 job openings for my Washington Redskins!! From security to IT to even Social Media gigs. Maybe they’re waiting for me before winning anything, EVER?]
Here’s a checklist I put together if you want more information on how to apply and what to bring on game day: step-by-step stadium guide
What the Job Entails
A typical game day will be 8-10 hours long, starting with you arriving about 5 hours before game time and getting out an hour or so after the game ends. There are lots of different jobs when you work at the Stadium such as being an usher, ticket taker, or bag checker.
Personally, I worked on a “roam team” during NFL games. Our job was to walk (occasionally run) a specific section of the stadium. We’d respond to fights, assist police in keeping patrons from walking into a situation, kick out the drunks, and check the area including restrooms before and after games to make sure everyone’s cleared. If we were bored, we’d go yell at smokers because there is no smoking in the stadium. It was our job to make sure the rules of the stadium were being followed.
While you may think it is only a seasonal job, there is great opportunity for more work year round. Besides the conferences and trade shows that often take place during the week (making it hard for full-timers to pick up extra shifts), there are other events at night and on weekends too. They usually include other sports or concerts.
You may not know that Gillette Stadium is also home to the New England Revolution (soccer) and hosts UMass football games while providing security for Boston College games at BC too. Concerts and other teams’ events are full stadium events that require a lot of staff.
I had the opportunity to work Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, and CountryFest. Each had their ups and downs. Fun fact: there were far more drunk and misbehaved people at Taylor Swift than at Bon Jovi! And don’t even get me started on CountryFest…
Pros to Working at Stadiums:
- Get to be at cool events for free AND get paid for it
- Opportunity to run into players and talent (Brady is even prettier in person)
- You’ll know your schedule months in advance
- Flexibility to work more if you want
Cons to Working at Stadiums:
- Long shifts
- The weather isn’t always great. -5 degrees where beers become beer slushies – not super fun to work!
- Because of how big the stadium is and how many people are employed, being promoted is more about who you know rather than the work you do
- You can’t talk to the players or talent unless they talk to you first
What It Pays
You get paid slightly above minimum wage + free meal and parking. Supervisors make more. After taxes I made a little under $100 each game plus the great stories of course. Apparently there is a youtube video of me responding to a fight, though I’ve never seen it.
In the end, if you are a sports fan it is pretty cool to say you work at the stadium. That is until you run into someone that used to play at the stadium during a work conference – awkward!
PS: The picture up top I took at the stadium before a game. This was the practice run of them with the flag. Unfortunately patrons never got to see this because it was too windy at game time for them to do it, but I love this picture. Empty stadium, sunset, American flag.
Liz blogs over at Friday Night Shenanigans where she writes about paying off her debt while creating a beautiful life for herself through DIY. You can head over there to get the Free Checklist on what to expect when applying for a stadium job and what to bring on game day.
For Side Hustles #1-58, click here.