Stadium Ushers and Vendors
Exploring this Job
Labor unions represent many ushers in stage production theaters, ballparks, and sports arenas and usually welcome the opportunity to talk with young people about working as an usher or vendor. Another option is to call the ballpark or stadium directly to find out more about being an usher or vendor. When you learn of special events coming to your town, contact the coordinator and volunteer your services to get a taste for the job.
Although these jobs are not the most glamorous, they will give you a chance to learn about sport facility management and concessions, experience which may come in handy later if you are serious about exploring either career option.
The work of stadium ushers and vendors varies with the place, the event, and the audience, but their duties while working sports events are similar. The main job of the usher is to seat patrons. Other duties for the usher might include finding empty and available seats for patrons, locating lost items, helping children find their parents, paging people, answering questions, giving directions, attempting to control unruly or ill-behaved people, and settling arguments about seat assignments. In the event that spectators grow unreasonably unruly or out-of-control, it is the responsibility of ushers to notify security of the disturbance. Ushers watch exits and show patrons to restrooms, drinking fountains, and telephones. They keep aisles clear of objects that might cause patrons to slip or fall.
Similarly, a vendor sells food and other items at a variety of sports events, although the amounts and items sold might vary depending on the event. For example, a vendor selling beer would probably sell more beers during a hockey or football game than during a figure-skating competition; in many cases, they might not even sell beer at such competitions. The vendor may be either an independent seller, licensed by the local government to sell his or her wares, or a vendor working as a freelance operator under license by the owner of the site. For example, the manager of the sports facility allows freelance operators to sell hot dogs, sodas, ice cream, and all the other foods and services enjoyed during a ball game. Or, a vendor might be employed by the franchise licensed to sell T-shirts, caps, and other sports paraphernalia at sports events.
Food vendors are often responsible for preparing the food for sale (and sometimes this just means placing a hot dog inside a bun), as well as handling the sale, making change, and providing any additional items necessary to the consumption of the food, such as napkins, straws, and condiments.