Sports operators save money by “hiring” volunteers
The organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are looking for a few good men to help with the presentation of the event. In fact, the organizers are looking for more than a few good men. They want 80,000 men and women to volunteer to help make their event, their business, successful and they are willing to give the volunteers uniforms and will feed them when they work. The volunteers better also come with money if they are not from Tokyo. They have to pay for their own rooms. Additionally Tokyo is looking for a few good men to help guide tourists through the city during the Olympics and Paralympics which stretch over a four week period. The pay for the guide? Zero yen. The people who run the Olympics have been using the volunteer system for a very long time. It probably saves host committees about $100 million in salaries. The Olympics organizers justify the program because people aren’t forced to volunteer and besides it is a chance to sniff some jocks and hang out in the Olympic Village.
The Olympics organizers are not the other sports organization to depend on volunteers. The NFL, which depends on government handouts and has a massive TV deal that to federal legislation, also has a need for volunteers. The February 2019 Atlanta Super Bowl will have about 10,000 people working for nothing to help make sure everything runs smoothly for the events surrounding the Big Game. The volunteers? They get uniforms. Atlanta Falcons ownership will have a big ceremony on October 28 to show off the uniforms. The volunteers have to go through background checks and work between 12 and 18 hours during Super Bowl week. The NFL brags about the hundreds of millions of dollars of economic impact of the Super Bowl brings but won’t pay some of the help. That’s sports.
The NFL won’t pay people to help with Super Bowl activities.