Super work for Schmidgall
When the fans of the Philadelphia Eagles chanted "Eagles," Bryce Schmidgall of Hancock was there to hear them.
Schmidgall and other athletes from the University of Northwestern in Roseville worked at US Bank Stadium during Super Bowl LII on Feb. 3. Schmidgall is on the university's lacrosse team.
"The atmosphere was incredible," Schmidgall said. "There were so many people who were excited to be there, especially Eagles' fans."
The Eagles fans also adopted the Minnesota Vikings Skol chant as their own.
"About every five minutes they would break into the 'E.A.G.L.E.S,' Eagles chant or do the Vikings' "Skol" chant but change it to 'Foles' for (quarterback) Nick Foles," Schmidgall said.
The UNW crew was posted at the Legacy Gate. Schmidgall scanned tickets.
"The biggest guideline that (Super Bowl officials) told us to remember for our work was 'If they don't have a ticket, they DON'T GET IN!,'" Schmidgall said.
Stadium officials, Super Bowl officials and officials from Minneapolis had been warning fans about the possibility of the sale of fake Super Bowl tickets before Super Bowl week.
Because there was a possibility a fan might have a fake ticket, "We had many people walking around who were there to help us if we came across a ticket that our scanners said was not valid, because, you can imagine what it would feel like to spend $3,000 on a ticket only to find out it was fake once you get (to) the stadium," he said.
Another rule was that no pictures could be taken by volunteers with celebrities which disappointed Schmidgall. Still he understood. Officials didn't want the public to think Super Bowl workers were slacking off, Schmidgall said.
He didn't see any celebrities at his ticket line but other UNW athletes did. "Some students from Northwestern scanned in (Minnesota Timberwolves players) Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins," Schmidgall said. The professional basketball players weren't in Schmidgall's ticket line but he did see them. "I could see (them) from the other side of the gate because they were so tall," he said.
Schmidgall didn't have as good of a view of the stadium, though. Schmidgall and fellow athletes had worked at Minnesota Vikings games during the regular season so "I really expected to be able to see the field because when I worked Legacy Gate during Vikings games, you could almost see onto the field from the door," he said.
Media booths blocked the view to the field from the gate. The media booths also narrowed the stadium hallways which created a bottleneck for fans.
The Super Bowl work day started long before fans arrived.
Schmidgall was at the stadium at 9 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday and scanned tickets from 1 to 6 p.m. "After that we were supposed to guard the doors and make sure people knew that once they left they could not come back in."
Since the media booths blocked the view of the field from the Legacy Gate, Schmidgall didn't expect to see Justin Timberlake's halftime show. He figured he might be able to watch it on one the TVs which were "everywhere" inside the stadium.
But Schmidgall got lucky and was sent on his break at halftime. "I ran around the stadium and was able to find a place with a clear view and got to see the whole halftime show."
The game atmosphere was "incredible" but Schmidgall was also impressed with how Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis was transformed for Super Bowl week.
"It was really cool to see how they were able to completely transform Nicollet Mall into a fair midway with lots of food and games and concerts. You could almost forget that you were in the middle of a huge city," Schmidgall said.
"There were so many people there...," Schmidgall said.
The UNW crew worked at the Super Bowl to raise money for athletic teams. The money earned by the lacrosse team will be used for a trip to Colorado later this season, Schmidgall said.