Stadium Ushers and Vendors
Ushers are employed anywhere that a large group of people gather to watch some type of event or show. Movie theaters, sports stadiums, and colleges/universities are the largest employers of ushers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are approximately 136,400 ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers employed in the United States.
Vendors are also employed wherever large groups of people gather to view an event or a show, but with one small difference. During these events, the people must have the time and the ability to spend money on food, drink, and souvenirs. For example, while a cotton candy vendor is right at home at the circus or ballpark, he or she might stick out like a sore thumb at the opera.
Check with local theaters, ballparks, convention centers, and colleges to inquire about possible openings. There is a lot of turnover in this business, so openings are usually plentiful but are snatched up quickly.
Positions in stadiums are usually part time and seasonal; jobs as ushers or vendors in a stadium used only for baseball end in the fall; if the stadium is domed, there might be additional opportunities to usher or vend during concerts or conventions. Depending on whether or not the vendor is independent or employed by a food or clothing franchise, the vendor may have opportunities year-round. Also, the contacts one makes in these jobs can lead to better jobs in the future.
Stadium ushers or vendors with the most experience usually receive the positions with greater responsibilities, such as handling emergency evacuation procedures. Frequently, ushers and vendors work in crews of three or more, with one individual acting as the supervisor for that crew or team.
In addition to advancing within the categories of ushers and vendors, individuals who have interests in other areas of the game—from public relations to marketing—can make contacts with people who work full time in those areas and possibly arrange an internship or part-time job. Many people who now work for major sports franchises in a variety of front-office jobs once spent a summer working as a stadium usher or vendor.
Tips for Entry
Talk with stadium ushers and vendors about their careers. Ask them for advice on breaking into the field.
Join the Service Employees International Union to increase your chances of landing a job and receiving fair pay for your work.
Find a volunteer or part-time job opportunity that requires interaction with customers and the public.