cell phone rang as the last few seconds on the game clock counted down.
It was my brother in California and he was watching the game on TV. Even
though my team would win today, we would not make the playoffs this
“So you are about to start an eight month vacation
now,” my brother said when I answered the call. I laughed because I knew
he didn’t really understand what I did. “Michael,” I replied, “this job
is more than just football on Sundays.” Only recently did I begin to
appreciate the full meaning of that phrase. I use it regularly now as a
way to explain all of the opportunities that we – stadium managers –
have as part of our work. Take a moment to consider the potential we all
We are in the experience business. We don’t sell things, we create
feelings and we craft memories for people. Factory workers assemble
parts to make the same product
over and over, one indistinguishable from another. We, however, have the
opportunity to make something very personal, very individual and very
meaningful for our customers. Not many professions get to do that.
A lot of our customers have waited a long time to come to our workplace.
Entering our facilities, being a part of the crowd, watching a great
game for many of our customers is the realization of a long awaited
goal. And we get to make that possible.
Release and Recharge. As stadium
managers we are not going to cure cancer or find the next great
discovery for mankind. But what we do is provide a very special place
for the people who may cure cancer or who may find the next big
discovery to release the tension in their lives and recharge their
spirits. We play an important part in the quality of life for all
of our customers.
In addition to what we do for our customers, consider
the opportunity you have when it comes to your staff and all of the
personnel who bring your building to life on event days.
Activity & Community. Many of your
staff that work at your facility are retired. The job you give them
keeps them active and makes them a part of your community. It’s not
about the paycheck, it’s about belonging to your team, interacting with
others, and having a good time.
Making Ends Meet. Some of your staff
may be living on the margin and are juggling several jobs just to stay
financially afloat. What you give them is an important place to earn a
wage that makes a real difference in their lives.
Hope & Respect. Many of the people
who work at your facility have a history of low-skill, low-wage jobs.
For most of these people they have been treated poorly at work. They
have not been afforded any respect and may have even been bullied by
incompetent supervisors. You can provide these people with a quality
workplace; one where they are respected and their contributions are
appreciated and recognized. You can provide them with a supervisor who
is supportive, encouraging and who cares about each person as an
individual. Imagine your staff members saying, “I have never been
treated this well anywhere I have worked. I wish all my jobs and bosses
could be half as good as what I get at the stadium.”
Challenge & Growth. As stadium
managers we can create opportunities for our personnel to take on new
tasks, develop their skills, and grow in ways that will help them beyond
the boundaries of their job at your venue. A veteran staff member can
use her experience to become a peer trainer. An outstanding crew member
can be promoted to supervisor and learn how to lead others. Encourage
your staff members to build their résumé at your facility and take the
skills and experience they gain with them to advance their careers. Soon
you will hear that one of your employees was promoted to a leadership
role in his full time job because he became a supervisor at your
Our jobs as stadium managers are filled with potential.
We create memories and we can change lives. The challenge is to not
restrict our thoughts and actions to planning and executing events or
maintaining a building. There is a tremendous depth of opportunity in
our work and we should not end the day without tapping in to all of the
potential that exists in our environment and within our people. Our work
truly is more than just football on Sundays.
last four years Paul Turner served as event services manager for the
Philadelphia Eagles and Lincoln Financial Field. In June he became the
director of event operations for the Dallas Cowboys New Stadium in