Side Hustle #59: Working at Football Stadiums!

by J. Money - Published August 14, 2015[Edit]

gillette stadium flag

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[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!

liz - friday night shenanigans

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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.

Jay loves talking about money, experimenting, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his two beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chris Muller August 14, 2015 at 5:21 am

Awesome side hustle. As I was reading it I kept thinking “okay, she’s dealing with drunks, can’t talk to athletes, and makes minimum wage.. what is the upside?” then came the comment (and I realized how dumb I am for not thinking about it) EVENTS FOR FREE! That in itself is worth the side hustle.

Unfortunately (or fotunately) for me I’m a Clevelander. We have some of the most passionate fans (and rowdy drunk fans) in the world. I’ve actually heard this before, but it’s really hard to get a job at the stadium because so many people want to do it. In fact, just for $hits, I googled it and there is one job posting – it’s for guest services. Right now you can choose between:

– Elevator operator
– Greeter
– Guest services specialist
– Suite attendant
– Usher
– Mobility assistance team member

I’ll be honest, those are kind of soft jobs. If I gave up my Sunday to work there I’d want to do security too! Might be fun to get in there and break up a drunk fight. I applaud this girl for getting in there and doing it!

Oh and J — hats off to your ‘Skins for beating my Brownies last night… As much as I’d love to talk $hit, the Browns are going to be one of the worst teams in the league #noargument

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2 Chris Muller August 14, 2015 at 5:23 am

Haha – “fotunately” (obviously should be fortunately) .. Man I’m always needing to correct myself on these comments. It’s gotta be the 5 AMs!

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3 Liz August 14, 2015 at 7:49 am

Honestly, security wasn’t actually broken out into its own job post, the post had the positions like the one you listed. So you never know, you could end up working security from applying to a general stadium job. I think the only time security was broken out was when there was a full-time position open.

And yes, being on a roam team was a ton of fun, drunk people are hilarious.

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4 J. Money August 14, 2015 at 3:33 pm

My ‘Skins won?? Awesome! I wouldn’t know because I had to turn it off at halftime to go to bed, womp womp… Sometimes it’s rough following in the foot steps of Mr. Benny Franklin :( Though rougher for him – he didn’t even have football back then! :)

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5 Patty August 18, 2015 at 12:52 pm

well, I am a Clevelander too and I googled the stadium and couldn’t find any job listings. Where did you find them on the site? The jobs you listed as being open would be just my speed. Too old to deal with drunks and fights anymore! LOL.

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6 Hannah August 14, 2015 at 7:39 am

Football and baseball teams also have a lot of great opportunities for fund raisers for high school students. Every year, my tennis team was parking lot attendants for the St. Paul Saints, and flyer distributors for the Vikings (SKOL!), and we averaged about $15/hr per member of our team. Just 2-3 games were sufficient to meet our fundraising goals.

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7 Liz August 14, 2015 at 7:54 am

Yes, my old rugby team still works one of the food stations and that is what a lot of the volunteers did. Some volunteer food workers were better at it than others, but they always got good fundraising from it because they got to keep the tips too.

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8 J. Money August 14, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Interesting!!

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9 Steve Miller August 14, 2015 at 8:13 am

What a cool side hustle, thanks for sharing it.

J. Money — I’m a Cowboys fan, I know how much you love the Cowboys!

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10 J. Money August 14, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Almost as much as payday loans! :)

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11 Liz August 14, 2015 at 4:57 pm

Glad you liked it!

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12 Kayla @ Femme Frugality August 14, 2015 at 8:20 am

Sounds like a pretty awesome side hustle! My cousin lives in KC and he works at the Royals baseball stadium as a side hustle, not because he even needs the money, he just wants to see the games for free.

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13 Liz August 14, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Nice! But I’m sure the extra cash doesn’t hurt ;)

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14 Chris @ Flipping A Dollar August 14, 2015 at 8:27 am

This is a neat idea. Definitely a way to get to support your team and make some extra money, especially considering that a lot of the games are not during your 9-5.

LMAO J, those poor Redskins. I’m a Chiefs fan and am sporting my gear for RED FRIDAY! Go Chiefs!

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15 J. Money August 14, 2015 at 3:37 pm
16 Liz August 14, 2015 at 4:59 pm

Ya, I very rarely missed working a game or took off an afternoon to accommodate working a game. It was awesome.

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17 Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way August 14, 2015 at 8:41 am

Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful side hustle Liz! It’s good to work on stadium aside that you are earning, you will also have a big chance to watch games for free.

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18 Liz August 14, 2015 at 5:00 pm

I’m glad you liked it and exactly!

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19 Free to Pursue August 14, 2015 at 8:51 am

Nice. I like this idea. It reminds me that some local theatre companies and special events organizers often allow you to trade some work (1-3hrs) for free admission. Gotta remember that and try it out some time.

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20 Liz August 14, 2015 at 9:01 am

I’d never thought of doing it for a theatre, I need to get on that.

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21 J. Money August 14, 2015 at 3:39 pm

My brother used to work at the movie theatre simply to watch them for free :) But on his time off from work – he was always allowed to come back and watch free videos as often as he wanted, and he took advantage!

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22 Alexander @ Cash Flow Diaries August 14, 2015 at 9:01 am

I have always wanted to work concerts for bands that I like that way i can see them perform for free!

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23 Liz August 14, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Ya I had a blast working Bon Jovi, though I’m glad I wasn’t still working there when One Direction came through.

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24 Jason August 14, 2015 at 9:02 am

Loved reading this, especially because I just got a job working for the Buffalo Bills starting today!

Getting the job was surprisingly easy. I saw a posting on Twitter looking for help connecting fans to their new WiFi system, and two e-mails later I was hired! I’ll spend pre-game floating the stadium answering questions, and be stationed at a guest services booth during the game in case any issues come up.

This is the first year they’re doing this and I’m hoping it leads to more gameday staff opportunities!

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25 J. Money August 14, 2015 at 3:40 pm

What are the odds???

I think we both need to play the lottery today :)

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26 Liz August 14, 2015 at 5:02 pm

Ooo good call. lol
Good luck at the Bills stadium Jason!

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27 Kate @ Cashville Skyline August 14, 2015 at 9:23 am

Nice! One of my first side hustles was selling beer at the Titans’ Stadium in Nashville. In fact, I was one of those people with buckets of beer attached to the front of their body, wandering through the stands. It was awesome! Plus, I made commission based on how many beers I sold. So, I was motivated to bust my ass to move product.

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28 J. Money August 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Hah! Were you allowed to drink the leftovers? ;)

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29 Liz August 14, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Wow that is a ton of work, and if I remember right at Gillette not sure if was the same for you but there were only certain times they were allowed to sell, like they couldn’t sell during half time and then of course there was always a time when alcohol had to stop being served. I forgot I used to go around and make sure the taps were off. There was always that one guy that was like, please just one more?

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30 Mrs. Crackin' the Whip August 14, 2015 at 9:27 am

Oh my, I think I’m ready for a part-time job! Sports aren’t really my thing but I love music. Earlier in the year, we were at the Grand Ole Opry and we were talking to the usher / security. She was an older lady and said she did this a few nights a week and had been for at least 15 years! Her enthusiasm for her job definitely shined through. She said it wasn’t a hard gig to get either; people just put in their applications like any other job.

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31 J. Money August 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm

That place is sooooo beautiful… I wasn’t able to see a concert while there but I toured it on a trip once. You can feel the history!

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32 Liz August 14, 2015 at 5:06 pm

There are definitely some people that have been there for years, some families even work it, parents and their grown kids and spouses it is crazy.

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33 Jason @ Phroogal August 14, 2015 at 10:13 am

Fun side hustles are the best! Now I’m all excited for football season!

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34 Liz August 14, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Me too! Go Pats! (please don’t hate me) haha

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35 Brian @ Debt Discipline August 14, 2015 at 10:38 am

Sounds like a great side hustle and works week with a regular 9-5. Nothing like getting paid and watching football!

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36 Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies August 14, 2015 at 10:45 am

Perfect timing with preseason underway. I had a friend in college who was a huge movie buff. He took a part-time job at a theater that showed old films mostly so he could watch them on the big screen for free. Side hustles are great!

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37 The Professor August 14, 2015 at 11:15 am

Cool side hustle. The weather there can get really tough.
I once watched a Pats game at the old stadium. It was 9 degrees without the windchill factor. Still love the Patriots but will root for them in southern CA.

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38 J. Money August 14, 2015 at 3:44 pm

I rooted for them a lot in the Superbowl – not a big fan of the Seahawks… Fascinating game to watch too!

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39 Liz August 14, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Funny story, I’m a Pats fan that is originally from Southern CA and my sister and her family are Seahawks fans, we still don’t really talk about the Super Bowl….though I am bidding my time for my niece and nephew to hit their rebellious stage, I figure I’ll turn them into Pats fans then. ;)

Oh and I now cheer for the Pats from the much more mild weather that exists in Raleigh, no more -5 with wind chill for me thanks.

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40 EL August 14, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Man these side hustles just keep on coming J. I wonder when your gonna post how many of them you really do on the side? IF you share yours Ill share mine. Good luck Liz.

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41 J. Money August 14, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Y’all already know most of them :) Blogging + Coaching + Advising + Building new projects….

I actually listed all the jobs I had once on this site, but it’s been a few years now… I need to update it: http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2012/10/all-30-jobs-ive-ever-done/

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42 Michelle August 14, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Sounds like a fun side hustle! So many think that side hustles have to be a drag – they don’t have to be!

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43 Liz August 14, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Definitely not, the best side hustles don’t feel like a hustle at all (most of the time).

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44 Amanda August 14, 2015 at 10:24 pm

I have worked at the Ralph Wilson Stadium here in Buffalo, NY. I did the food services and it was actually pretty neat + the tips that you bring home from our loyal Canadian drinkers that tip wonderfully if you engage in a conversation with them. I am actually trying to get back into it and a friend worked tonights game and she was going to see if they needed any help. It is really fun but it is not for everyone.

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45 J. Money August 17, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Nice! You can join Jason up there who just started working for the Bills too!

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46 Melissa August 15, 2015 at 10:53 am

This is the coolest thing ever! We actually have a big stadium (only stadium? clearly I’m not a sports fan…) close to where I live (we hosted the last Super Bowl, heyyy!), so this could be a side hustle for me!

I would hate to do security, actually, and I’m 5’2, too. But a greeter or guest services person? Heck yeah! Such a cool article, thanks!

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47 J. Money August 17, 2015 at 2:58 pm

I was always a greeter when doing customer service myself – I loved it. Just saying hi to people and helping them with random things :)

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48 Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank August 15, 2015 at 6:28 pm

If I were have time to get another side hustle, I would work at football stadium. Imagine that I could get to meet those football players for free. Yay! That would be really awesome!

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49 BeSmartRich August 16, 2015 at 8:56 pm

Side hustle is great although the key is getting the right balance not to kill ourselves by working too much. Thanks for sharing interesting article. :)

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50 J. Money August 21, 2015 at 9:55 am

Always a balancing act whether in $$$$ or anything else :)

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51 Jason B August 20, 2015 at 11:21 am

That side hustle seems pretty fun. Right now my Pt gig/side hustle is working with the Atlanta Braves. I need to check and see if the Falcons have any openings since football season is near.

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52 J. Money August 21, 2015 at 9:56 am

Nice! I feel like you’d already have a leg up being in the sports industry already?

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