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Gig work, not ticket, gets some into Super Bowl 58

Thousands have figured out a way to get close to Super Bowl 58 action and get paid while doing it.

Gig workers and volunteers from across the country have poured into Las Vegas to work as guides, security, brand ambassadors, kitchen and serving staff and more in temporary positions that support the events and activations leading up to and during the big game.

Postings on job hunting sites and apps still show positions open for Allegiant Stadium, private parties and Strip events when an estimated 330,000 will come to the region for Super Bowl-related activity. On top of the thousands hired through staffing agencies, the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee recruited 7,000 volunteers as support during NFL-sanctioned events.

For most visiting support staff, working or volunteering was a way to avoid paying thousands of dollars to see the game. Orange County, California, resident Vincent Longhi said he will be working security on Sunday through gig work he does with security firm Contemporary Services Corp. He applied about a year ago and maintained occasional work with the agency at Los Angeles Angels games so that he could apply to work this year’s NFL title game in Las Vegas.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to afford to go to the game otherwise,” Longhi, who also works full-time for internet service provider Spectrum, said. “I signed up for the Super Bowl aspect, but it’s a nice side job.”

Instawork, an app where temporary workers can find gigs, said as of Wednesday it had more than 1,000 shifts available related to the Super Bowl. The company found shifts inside Allegiant Stadium were more popular — 88 percent of shifts inside the stadium have been picked up by Wednesday even though the average pay outside the stadium was slightly higher, an representative said.

Others come to Super Bowl host cities to spend an extended amount of time helping with the event.

Miami resident Jolanda ‘Jojo’ Linwood is a volunteer for the host committee on her ninth Super Bowl as a volunteer. She previously has supported the game in Miami, Tampa, L.A., Houston, San Diego, Phoenix and New Orleans. Volunteering for Las Vegas’ game was a no-brainer, she said.

“It’s not even a question,” Linwood said. “This is the very first Super bowl in Vegas; I had to be a part of it.”

Linwood, a business owner, said she typically plans to spend several weeks in town ahead of a Super Bowl to get to know the city. This year, she has been stationed at the Fremont Street Experience and the Super Bowl Soulful Celebration and will be at Sunday’s game.

“I slot that time out of my life every year in the years I have participated, so I could just give wherever they need help,” she said.

Gig work is available outside traditional event and serving support. Houston-based Trust Pro Staffing hired 50 nurses and medical assistants for IV Drop Con, a first-time wellness and medical spa convention hosted at Hampton Inn Tropicana Friday through Sunday. Principal recruiter Ivette Palomeque said they spent about three weeks finding local talent, given the specialized requirements, and hired their last gig worker Wednesday night.

‘The most important part we’ve learned is trust the process,” she said of recruiting for large events. “There’s a lot of moving parts, and there’s a lot we don’t have control over and learn to let go and continue to work, in spite of. The show must go on.”

Longhi said he will work all day Sunday and expects he won’t necessarily work security inside the stadium as an out-of-town support staff. But as a former Disneyland employee, he feels being a part of the event and helping excited fans is enough to get joy out of it.

“The excitement’s always there, whether it’s the love of Disney or the love of football,” he said.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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