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Students to Run Concession at Super Bowl

By: Michael Izzo/The Daily Record
01/31/2014, 10:31 AM

Hackettstown — Fifteen Centenary College students will get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to the Super Bowl this Sunday at Met Life Stadium.

But they won’t be watching — they’ll be working.

Professor David Perricone’s sports management class will work a 20-hour day running one of the stadium’s 40 concession stands.

Perricone’s sports management classes worked six Giants and Jets games at Met Life Stadium this year, so they have experience.

“Delaware North handles concessions, and they asked if the class wanted to work the Super Bowl,” said Perricone, who will be there to aid his class as they serve the 80,000 patrons.

The students usually assign two leaders for each game, but to ensure the Super Bowl runs smoothly, they’ll have four of the 15 leading the way. Leaders will be responsible for managing inventory, sales and cooking.

“Doors open at 2 p.m. so inventory needs to be checked and the food cooked by then,” said Perricone.

The students will be selling traditional concession fare like hot dogs, popcorn and beer, as well as hot chocolate for those adjusting to the cold weather Super Bowl.

While the students have experience working concessions, they expect the Super Bowl to pose unique challenges.

“We don’t know when the big rush will be,” said 21-year-old senior Marquay Mayo. “Usually it’s at halftime of the games, but people will want to watch that for the Super Bowl. So we have to always be ready.”

Sunday, students will leave for East Rutherford 6 a.m. and likely won’t return home until after 2 a.m. the following day.

“We have to handle the unexpected and deal with long hours,” said 20-year old junior Natalia Ortega. “It’s a unique experience. It’s exciting to work a Super Bowl, to go there and serve so many. Not many people can say they did that. But I’ll be working, not watching.”

As part of the project, the students receive an hourly wage plus commission but cannot be paid by the school. All money earned, $8,000 through the first six games, gets put in a scholarship given out at the end of the year. With leftover money, the students are planning a trip.

This was the first year Perricone’s class ran concessions at Met Life Stadium.

“I think the year has gone well,” said Perricone. “The students have gotten hands on experience, chances to network, and the opportunity to learn from their mistakes while still in college at a job. Working a Super Bowl on the East Coast is a once in a lifetime opportunity, something not many people can put on a resume.”

Three Centenary students were also selected for pre-Super Bowl hospitality-related assignments, including a job as a greeter at the Hilton in Times Square during the days leading up to the Super Bowl.