By Carsen Hageman
Carsen Hageman is a first-year undergraduate student at BGSU, where he majors in Sport Management. As an active member of the Sport Management Alliance, he was part of a group of 20 students who attended and worked at Super Bowl LVII.
February 25, 2023
Growing up a huge NFL fan, I never thought about going to the Super Bowl. As I grew older though, I knew I wanted to work in sports so it was always a goal to make it there. So, once I learned that it was a possibility to attend the Super Bowl in my first year at BGSU, I was ecstatic! I was also fortunate enough to plan part of the trip to the Super Bowl through the Sport Management Alliance (SMA). As the Assistant Travel Coordinator, I helped plan the trip with the Travel Coordinator. Everything from flights to the rental cars needed to be planned months in advance.
One of the first things we did once we got to Arizona was to attend Super Bowl Opening Night. This was an event where all the players in the Super Bowl were available to be interviewed by the media. Fans got to sit and watch all of the players from each team being interviewed.
My favorite non-football event that we did in Arizona had to be touring Chase Field, the home of the Diamondbacks. On one of our days off, we found out that Chase Field did tours. It was perfect timing because pitchers and catchers reported in one week so people were in the building getting ready for spring ball. This was such a fascinating tour as we got to learn what it is like to run a facility like that. Lastly, our tour guide was from Springfield, OH, so we got to bond over being from Ohio. Since we fostered such a great relationship during the tour, our tour guide allowed us to take one of the bullpen balls home from the Diamondbacks’ personal batting cages within their locker room.
During the week leading up to the game, we all worked at the NFL Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center. The NFL experience is an event where fans interact with players and have fun at games like the one pictured above. The capacities we all worked in varied from working to make sure games ran smoothly to facilitating autograph lines. Throughout The Experience, there were a variety of autograph booths that included current and former NFL players signing autographs for fans. This was such a rewarding position as we got to interact with fans and make their experience one to remember.
During Super Bowl game day, we worked with Gameday Stadium Services assisting with the egress of teammates and other staff as the Super Bowl campus was very hectic. This was a little bit disappointing as we wanted to be inside the stadium. It did not turn out as badly as anticipated because we were able to go into the game during our break or even just to use the restroom.
The disappointment quickly went away after the game as we were able to get onto the field. Since it was an hour or two after the game, security allowed us onto the field. This was the highlight of my trip as everyone dreams of being on the field for a Super Bowl. Once we were on the field, we were able to walk around and take pictures for almost an hour. This included pictures on the sidelines and the Lombardi presentation stage.
Overall, this was an experience of a lifetime. To be able to spend a week in Arizona and gain real-world experience in sports is something I will never forget. I want to thank the entire Sport Management Faculty and Sport Management Alliance for a truly life-changing trip. Without the support from the staff and great planning from SMA, we would have never been able to have such a successful trip.