University of Iowa students work behind the scenes for Super Bowl LVI

Hawkeyes from the UI’s sport and recreation management program are headed to Los Angeles to help with Super Bowl LVI. They will be working behind the scenes and learning the inner workings of the NFL.


Madeleine Willis, News Reporter

The University of Iowa’s sport and recreation management program is sending eight students to work at one of the nation’s largest sporting events this weekend, Super Bowl LVI.

UI sport and recreation management students will help fans navigate different events, such as the Fan Immersion Experience, at the game on Sunday. The students will leave for Los Angeles on Friday.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to go do something like this in college,” Daniel Crooks, a fourth-year sports and recreation management major, said.

Anna Jensen, director of the UI Office of Field Experience in the sport and recreation management program, is accompanying the students.

“I’m excited to bring the University of Iowa sport and recreation management banner into the sports world,” Jensen said.

The students will work with the National Football League fan transportation system. There will be 375 fan buses at the event, Jensen said.

Jensen said that the department is partnering with the business SP+ to get the students to the game.

Other universities like Ithaca College, Baldwin Wallace University, Penn State University, and Bowling Green State University are also sending sports management students to work at the Super Bowl.

In 2021, some UI students helped with a Field of Dreams event with SP+. Jensen said the company was impressed with the professionalism and engagement the students demonstrated and extended an offer to Jensen for five students to come work for them at the Super Bowl.

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Jensen said she extended the invitation to all students who are in the sport and recreation management program during Thanksgiving, and she had 37 students apply.

“When I saw the applications come in, I knew we would easily come up with five students,” Jensen said. “We had a wealth of talent and ability. It was a difficult decision to choose who the team of students would be.”

She called and asked if she could take more than five students and they allowed her to take eight, including herself.

Amy Knoebl, a third-year sports and recreation management major, said this is her first experience with a large sporting event. She’s previously interned with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

“I am excited to visit Los Angeles, excited to tour, and experience what the Super Bowl has to offer,” Knoebl said.

Jensen said she wanted to provide an opportunity for students in their line of work, because sport and recreation management is such a wide field.

Sport and recreation management fourth-year Michael Markla worked for the Kansas City Chiefs before this experience. He said he is mostly looking forward to taking in the experience and having an inside view of how it all comes together.

“The Super Bowl is a dream for everyone,” he said, “We are going to learn so much from the customer service aspect.”