UofL Sport Administration students volunteered at the Kentucky Derby in 2021 and have been invited to do the same at the Super Bowl. They will transport those with mobility needs around the stadium in Los Angeles.

Students from UofL’s College of Education and Human Development’s Department of Health and Sport Sciences will travel to California this month to volunteer at the Super Bowl LVI game.

The opportunity arose through an established relationship with SP+ GAMEDAY, a transportation management company that also partners with the Kentucky Derby.

Students enrolled in the Sport Administration special topics course “Kentucky Derby Logistics” volunteered at the event in the Spring of 2021, transporting those with mobility needs to and from Churchill Downs. Doctoral student Michael Clemons taught the course and has seen the partnership flourish.

“In the class, more than 20 students worked with the Mobility Assistance Program outside of Churchill Downs,” Clemons said. “Since SP+ GAMEDAY partners with multiple mega sporting events, they contracted our students from the class to assist with the same Mobility Assistance Program at this year’s Super Bowl.”

Student volunteers will serve as contractors, stationed outside of Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles to assist those with mobility needs.

“The Sport Administration program at UofL is nationally known as a top program providing opportunities for its students, including experiences like this,” Clemons said. “As I teach both during my PhD program and after I graduate, I plan to incorporate examples and real-life lessons learned from my time at the Super Bowl. It’s nice to be able to talk about mega-sporting events, but being at an event and experiencing it firsthand adds another unique element to class discussion.”

Junior Emily Bridges anticipates the opportunity will advance her understanding of the field of sport administration.

“I’m interested in seeing the elaborate, precise preparation and coordination that goes into major sporting event planning,” Bridges said. “I am most familiar with collegiate sporting events, so working at a professional sporting event, especially one of this magnitude, will broaden my experience.”

She also thinks the opportunity will increase her confidence in her future career.

“[The opportunity] will also encourage me to look at other unique sport opportunities to diversify my skill set, which will directly impact my future career endeavors in terms of confidence, knowledge and experience in the sport industry,” she said.

The rare opportunity is one that the students are not taking for granted.

“While I’ve worked a lot of major sporting events, the Super Bowl is at a whole new level. It is the most-watched, most-anticipated annual sporting event in the United States,” Clemons said. “To be on site and playing a part in event operations is truly special, and something that very few sport administration students and faculty receive.”