NFL teams brace for stadium hiring struggles

Miami Dolphins v Las Vegas Raiders
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Good news for the NFL: Fans will be back in stadiums this year. Bad news for the NFL: Fans will be back in stadiums this year.

There’s a bad-news component to a return to football normalcy because, as a league source tells PFT, teams are bracing for struggles when it comes to hiring stadium workers.

The game-day experience, from parking-lot attendants to ticket takers to concessions workers to ushers to security and beyond, entails well over a thousand employees per stadium. Last year, most of those persons had little or no work. Now, with a year away from it, teams have become concerned that many won’t want to come back.

From COVID concerns to the basic fact that the allure of working for an NFL team in an NFL stadium may have diminished since 2019, teams realize that they may face a real challenge when it comes to hiring workers — the same type of challenge with which many businesses throughout the country have dealt. As many will say, the simplest solution entails paying more money to the stadium workers. And that may be precisely what happens. However, to some extent and in some fashion, those costs inevitably will flow through to the customer.

Then there’s the reality that some teams (i.e., the smart ones) will develop a proactive plan for dealing with the problem (including but not limited to automation of tasks, where possible) and that other teams (i.e., the dumb ones) will end up undermining the experience for fans by playing it cheap and/or not having around strategy when it comes to staffing the stadiums.

55 responses to “NFL teams brace for stadium hiring struggles

  1. The simplest solution is to stop extended unemployment benefits. People are making as much or more sitting at home than selling nachos at a Lions game.

  2. Or maybe pay the poor broke NFL teams should pay the stadium workers livable wages so that they can eat more than bread crumbs.

  3. alvinmack says:
    July 8, 2021 at 8:56 pm
    The simplest solution is to stop extended unemployment benefits. People are making as much or more sitting at home than selling nachos at a Lions game.

    This has been debunked over and over again. Multiple surveys of workers who have not returned to their jobs and/or the labor pool have shown that no more than 15% of said workers are resisting on account of unemployment benefits; instead, the primary reason is that they want to do other work. You don’t want to sell nachos at the Lions game; it’s okay–and no knock on them–if they don’t, either.

  4. People aren’t lining up to deal with drunken, rowdy hordes during the tail end of a pandemic for $11/hr once a week? Uh oh…

    Luckily, American capitalism has a solution. Just *force* people to work demeaning jobs for sub-poverty wages by taking away the barest of social safety nets. Hurray for progress!

  5. Pay the stadium workers more. Give them incentive to work more. You’re a billion dollar industry who thrives on the backs of these people.

  6. The NFL teams are owned by Billionaires. They’ll figure it out. Most fans are interested in what’s happening between the lines, anyway. They’ll just be glad to be at an NFL game again. There are probably a couple cheap owners, but their fans are well aware of that.

  7. You mean people aren’t clamoring to be paid to break up fights between drunk fans? No way

  8. The guys/gals serving the beer or dishing out the super nachos are the MVPs at stadiums. They should get paid as much as the players on the field. Players not supporting their fellow workers are against the people.

  9. The majority of workers at Gillette Stadium are volunteers who are making money for schools/churches/etc.

    I worked there a handful of times to help send my kid to Disney with her school band.

    I think plenty of people will still volunteer.

  10. The unemployment benefits are not the problem.Stagnat wages and increased cost of living is. Pay you workers what they are worth and you won’t have trouble finding people

  11. Or make them a better offer?

    As if the job just pays whatever the job pays and no one can do anything about that.

    Get what you can folks.

  12. I feel for the people who work game days, they take all the abuse that intoxicated and difficult patrons have to offer and get paid doodly squat.

  13. Then pay them more. These owners have half a dozen mansions throughout different continents along with yachts and six figures automobiles. It’s not rocket science.

  14. As the owner of a staffing business, I know that the only issue is the government’s policy of paying people not to work. Anyone who states otherwise is a fool or a liar.

  15. Does that mean that stadium staff will un-trained, apathetic and missing in critical areas as usual?

  16. The simplest solution is to stop extended unemployment benefits. People are making as much or more sitting at home than selling nachos at a Lions game.


    These aren’t full-time jobs with benefits. How is the solution to joblessness coming out of a world pandemic to pull the rug out from people struggling to get back on their feet by having them work weekend, minimum wage, no benefit jobs at stadiums?!

  17. The NFL is a multi billion dollar industry and only getting bigger, they can afford to pay their stadium workers enough to entice prospective employees to join. Besides the point they were gonna raise prices all around regardless, they’re not gonna take a multi billion dollar lose like what they had last year on the chin.

  18. Jeezus tits alvinmack. One would hope someone on unemployment is “making as much or more sitting at home than selling nachos at a Lions game.” Unless you’re one hell of a nacho salesman and on commission.

  19. I have (2) friends that work as ‘club’ bartenders for the Browns and they are still awaiting being called back 6 weeks prior to pre season beginning although they have worked every home game for at least the last 5 years – it may NOT be the employees fault.

  20. I worked at a stadium for years. It was an amazing job. but I also got to run my own stand and bring in about 15 beers a day to sell out of pocket

  21. There were always be enough people who will work at a stadium so they can be closer to their favorite team

  22. Funny how those that love to tout the benefits of capitalism rarely like to see wage increases even when it runs directly in lock step with the whole supply and demand dynamic. Offer more money, and better benefits and watch how quickly you fill those jobs.

  23. Get more job skills and stop mooching off the taxpayers dime. Selling Nachos and souvenir programs wasn’t meant to support a family of five.

  24. I predict huge employment numbers for October. I haven’t missed work because of the pandemic but if I could have stayed home and got paid extra I would have and still would be.

  25. People who used to work low-paying service jobs before the pandemic learned to work for cash during the pandemic. They’re not coming back to these terrible jobs. $15/hr cash for labor is almost twice as much as $10/hr with taxes taken out. The only people still mystified by this have never worked a low-paying service job.

  26. The last paragraph is what draws my attention. Automation, when possible. By the smart teams quote unquote. As mentioned earlier these are huge employers and provide jobs to all different sorts of people. Automation is good for things, it’s not good for a job sector when automation systems see if they can do the job the humans do. After all you don’t pay the machine. So I hope that any of the attempts to demonstrate that automation can work in lieu of human earners falls flat and is not copied.

  27. “Stop the free money. Problem solved.”

    The billionaires and 1% / corporations just got almost 4 trillion dollars in “free money” between the tax scam and the money given to them from the covid relief bills.

    Yet you think the poor schmucks getting an extra $300 a week is the problem.

    Imagine all the good things that could have been done for the country as a whole if that 4 trillion had gone towards things for the common good instead of inflating the bank accounts of the ultra wealthy who had zero need for that money.

  28. Smart teams will pay more to get workers. They will just pass this on to the customers (fans). No way the billionaire owners will suffer any losses

  29. Do all of you people telling the teams to pay more of complaining about increased cost of living/stagnant wages not understand that giving away free money is the reason for those things? When the expenses of a company go up, I.e. taxes or wages, then the cost of goods and services go up. In other words, ticket prices get higher, concessions get higher. Thus the cost of living goes up. If companies are having to pay more for unemployment or taxes then they have less money to pay employees. I work for a large corporation and our wages had been stagnant for several years. When taxes got cut in 2017 the logjam broke and raised and promotions that had been long overdue got pushed through. When the people paying your salary get punished we all get punished.

  30. Stop the unemployment and stimulus is such lazy thinking. The entire economy is a house of cards at this point. Evictions and student loan payments are coming back this fall as well (unless of course they keep kicking the can down the road), suddenly nobody is going to have any spare money to attend a sporting event. You should never be on the side of a billionaire. The pandemic gave some power back to the people and we need to hang onto it for dear life. Working from home should be the permanent go to for everything, if possible.

  31. Don’t pay more just invest it in automation , that way anyone complaining about working these demeaning jobs won’t ever have to worry about it , both problems solved .. two birds one stone.

  32. The minute extended unemployment stops there’ll be people to fill these jobs. Stimulus checks aren’t the issue because they’re not big enough or frequent enough to live off of–it’s the unemployments extensions keeping lower level jobs from being filled right now.

  33. It was a rip off to attend games before the pandemic, now the wait for concessions will be longer and I might get jumped walking to or from the stadium and the police will do nothing. No thanks.

  34. The problem is on both sides. People who work these types of jobs can collect more from the gov/taxpayers by sitting at home doing nothing. They’re going to ride that as long as possible. On the flip side, of course the owners need to pay them a little more. And this isn’t a situation where paying them more should impact the cost of goods/services. They’re already charging $15 for a beer, the average cost per person to attend an NFL game is around $650 and that keeps going up year over year. That’s pure insanity. Props to the NFL for creating a product that allows them to charge so much, the league and the owners are laughing all the way to the bank.

  35. $5/hr extra for 1000 workers over 4 hours is $20k. Over 2 pre-season games and 8 regular season games, that’s $200k for a season. That’s a drop in the bucket for any NFL team. An owner worth $1B could spend $200k/yr for 5000 years before they ran out of money.

    Of course, that extra $20 for the worker may not be worth given how hostile the world seems these days to service workers. Hard to fault people for not taking it.

  36. A lot of those jobs are volunteer workers. The stadiums use many of the concessions to support local charities – typically a different charity every game. The security jobs are contracted to companies who pay their workers a decent wage, more than most people think.

    But ticket prices get increased without increasing wages to stadium workers, or office staff. The argument that we can’t pay a hundred workers a couple of bucks more an hour because we have to pay our players 11-figure salaries is ludicrous on face value.

    This has been happening for a while. The rich get richer while their employees lose buying power (defacto wage decreases).

  37. Going to a game has been a waste of money for several years. The money that one person spends at the stadium is enough for that same person to throw a huge party for their family and friends to watch the game without having to deal with all the degenerates that attend games!

  38. In truth, the concession stands at many NFL stadiums are staffed by volunteers from nonprofit organizations such as scouting troops, school booster clubs, and.Knights of Columba councils. The organization receives a cut of the gross revenue generated by the stand as compensation for the work performed by the entity’s members. The reluctance or lack thereof on the part of these volunteer to come forward beginning in September is, thus, unaffected by the availability of supplemental federal unemployment benefits (which will have expired by then anyway) or the amount of the Minimum Wage. It will matter, though, whether these folks fear they are risking their lives and health by interacting with too many of our obstinate or benighted brethren who refuse to get vaccinated.

  39. It is the law of supply and demand. Right now there is great demand for labor in service type jobs with little supply. The options really are to pay better and/or offer benefits or exit the market (there is a major correction coming for the restaurant industry). The major issue with unemployment is many service industry workers have now figured out how bad those jobs are with really bad pay, no benefits and if you call in sick you get fired not to mention the abuse from managers. Where I am at, a certain company named after a region in South America which is just starting in the area is paying $4 to $6 more an hour with actual benefits than any restaurant/service provider. If those service industry owners want staff they have to out bid the competition, exit the industry or try to get laws passed to make people work slave labor.

  40. Just to be clear, some of you are saying that people who may be out of work from full time employment should apply for jobs that will employ them 10x total? That won’t get them off of unemployment.

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