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Nelson part of Crew 52 at Super Bowl

One of the ice sculptures on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl. This sculpture announces Super Bowl LII. Submitted photo1 / 2
Diane Nelson of Morris in her Crew 52 Super Bowl volunteer gear. Nelson spent part of the week as a volunteer for Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. Submitted photo2 / 2

This Super Bowl parka is not a fan parka. Diane Nelson of Morris wore a blue Crew 52 parka for three days this past week as a volunteer for the Super Bowl activities in Minneapolis. Crew 52 is the official volunteer organization for Super Bowl LII (52)

Nelson received an official Crew 52 parka, shirt, gloves and hat to wear during her 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. shifts Tuesday through Thursday, Jan. 30 -Feb. 1.

Nelson was stationed at the volunteer headquarters in the Nicollet Mall area in Minneapolis.

"It is a bustling place where volunteers are assigned certain jobs: zip line, skyways, hotels, airport and Super Bowl Live," Nelson said in a Jan. 31 email. "At headquarters, volunteers are assigned to maintenance, checking volunteers in and helping distribute food."

"A lot of the action is in the Nicollet Mall," Nelson said in a Jan. 24 interview.

Nelson decided to be volunteer because "I thought t would be fun. (The Super Bowl) is in Minneapolis," Nelson said. "When's the last time a Super Bowl was in Minneapolis? In 1992. In my lifetime, this will be the last Super Bowl in Minneapolis. I thought 'I'm just gonna apply and if I get selected, I do.'"

The retired teacher said she was one of at least 30,000 who applied to volunteer and one of about 15,000 selected. Once selected, she participated in a November training event.

"It was a big pep rally to get us all fired up," Nelson said. The party was followed by orientation on Jan. 9. The orientation covered things to watch and duties for when guests arrive at the airport, are at hotels, in the skyways and other areas, Nelson said.

Event organizers expect 1 million guests during Super Bowl week. The guests will come from all over the world, Nelson said.

"It's a big deal. It is THE thing (of sports)," Nelson said. "Even if you don't have money to buy a ticket people just go to take in the festivities. There are so many festivities."

The worldwide interest in the Super Bowl goes beyond attending the festivities. "Volunteers are coming from all over the world," Nelson said.

The event and related activities take coordination including, coordinating transportation and lodging for all the guests and volunteers.

Nelson said she would stay with her daughters, which eased her concerns about parking, traveling and where to stay. Volunteers receive free passes on metro transit and buses will frequently come and go from event sites, she said.

Nelson expected to have a good time while volunteering in the midst of all the activity. "I think life is too special to sit and do nothing," she said."You need to keep going and having a good time."