A lot of full time sports fans have part time jobs. But very few of those part time workers apply their skills to the sports industry. Seasonal sports jobs are a unique niche of corporate America. Major league sports teams and their partners aren’t present at most university career fairs and their openings aren’t typically posted on widely used job boards. Most are filled through the handful of sports centric job sites or through professional contact referrals. People, young and old, make their first foray into the business of sports through seasonal, often part-time, opportunities. These jobs may not be career choices but they allow us to see the industry’s potential and gain valuable experience in how sports organizations operate, at its most basic level. Not to mention a chance to have fun, be around the sports we love and make some money.

Beer and Food Vendor

Vendors can be heard loud and clear in baseball, football, basketball and hockey stadiums across the country. “Beer here!” and “Get your popcorn!” are as common as a crack of the bat or an umpire’s strike-three call. Considered one of the prime part-time sports jobs, a vendor can glance up at the scoreboard from time-to-time, collect tips and stay relatively clean. For energetic people with a sense of humor and muscle tone, a food or beverage vendor is a great fit. And since they’re needed at all types of sporting events, vendors often work for multiple teams in a city. Gain summer experience at a baseball park and you’ll line yourself up nicely for football or basketball’s fall schedule. Vendors are generally employed by food services companies such as Center Plate (several West Coast teams), Levy Restaurants (Wrigley Field) and Legends Hospitality (New York Yankees). Most sports organizations outsource food and beverage fulfillment to these companies so investigate which vendors service your city teams and get in touch with them.

Pay Structure: Commission (12 – 16% of sales plus tips)

Sports: All

Grounds Crew

No employee gets closer to the field than the grounds crew. They are generally young, athletic and devote a lot of time to the park. Key members arrive early, stay late and even work while the team is on the road. Some fans show appreciation for them during the game, especially during a rain delay as they leap into action to cover the field. Before games and between innings the grounds crew, led by a head groundskeeper, maintains the field. The infield must be watered if it’s too dry and raked out for smoothness while the base paths are re-chalked. The outfield must be pristine for wide angle camera shots so it’s often mowed with intricate patterns before the game while the divots are patched up as fans depart for the night. There are peaks-and-valleys with how busy this group gets throughout game day. During games there isn’t as much activity but pre and post game work is physically challenging so being fit and quick to react is important.

Pay Structure: Hourly (medium)

Sports: Baseball, Football

Ticket Taker

The job of ticket taker is pretty self-explanatory. Show up early for gate assignments, greet fans as they arrive and scan their game ticket. A friendly attitude and patience will get your far in this job. Prior face-to-face customer service experience will give you an advantage since sports organizations value employees who can handle the one-off drunk or belligerent fan. Barcode scanners sniff out fake tickets but having a firm voice and confidence as you turn those fans away is important too. Ticket takers are, at times, assigned to man the security table where bags and purses are inspected. Though stadium security is often around for back up, being in shape and mentally focused reinforces the rules with rule breakers. In some organizations, ticket takers will work other stations, including clean up crew or concession stands, after the initial rush of fans arrive.

 Pay Structure: Hourly (low)

Sports: All

Clean Up Crew

Not the most glamorous job but everyone has to start somewhere, right? Being part of the post-game clean up crew is an entry level job for someone getting into sports for the first time. Stadiums and fields across the country are a disaster by the time a game ends because fans ignore the “clean up after yourself” rule we’re all taught as children. Workers fan out across the stadium to sweep and pick up trash including any mess left in the expansive concourses. Become a reliable member of this team and you can expect a promotion to greener pastures come next season.

 Pay Structure: Hourly (low)

Sports: All

 Usher

This job tends to go to the older crowd. Ushers spend most of their time at a stationary location where fans entering the arena can approach them for assistance. Unlike at the theater, ushers aren’t asked to seat people, but need to give them a general point in the right direction. They also field complaints on inconsiderate fans and must be willing to speak up to people who disregard stadium rules. Because the job doesn’t require lifting or running, a more senior group of workers fit well here. The role is considered a premium position and seniority often dictates who is hired to fill the need. Stick around long enough and the usher position will open up for you as well.

Pay Structure: Hourly (medium)

Sports: All

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