Got a skyway question? Need directions? CSB students to assist Super Bowl visitors

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January 23, 2018

By Mike Killeen

CSB Students Volunteering for Super Bowl

From left: CSB juniors Abby Spanier and Maggie Young.

Photo: Tommy O'Laughlin '13

When organizers for Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis put out a call for volunteers, over 30,000 people responded.

But when College of Saint Benedict junior Maggie Young put out a call for her friends to volunteer at the Super Bowl with her, she didn’t have a lot of success.

“All of them were too busy and had things going on. So then, she turned to her nursing major friend – me,” said CSB junior Abby Spanier.

Spanier readily agreed. Now, the two roommates will partner together and work in the Minneapolis Skyway system for three shifts Jan. 26-28, answering questions, giving directions and offering advice on things to do in the Twin Cities.

Michael Hemmesch, executive director of public relations at CSB and Saint John’s University, is also volunteering during the period leading up to the Feb. 4 game.

Young is the sports junkie. She is interested in a career working in pro sports (she will do an internship this summer with the Nashville Predators hockey team). The communication major’s dream job would be to work for the Minnesota Twins.

Spanier, meanwhile, hopes to work in an emergency trauma center, with her long-range goal to become a nurse practitioner.

“I would have been bummed if I had (volunteered) by myself,” Young said. “This is going to be something that we can just do together.”

It didn’t take much convincing by Young to persuade Spanier to volunteer.

“She (Young) was like, ‘Abby, come do this with me, please.’ I said it sounds awesome. I do love all sports, but I love football, I love the Vikes and I love the Super Bowl,” Spanier said

“So I said, ‘This sounds like fun.’ ”

It has also been a lot of work.

All volunteers had to fill out a form and undergo an interview. They attended an orientation session in November at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, and participated in a training session Jan. 13.

“We’re not city girls, by any means,” Spanier said. “We had the orientation on Jan. 13, and they let us know what to expect and what you should probably prep for. I’m not going down there blind. I’m definitely going to prep a little bit and make sure I know the systems, what’s nearby and what to suggest for anything.

“I’m sure they’ll give us a list of (questions) to expect, and then go in kind of prepared for that,” Spanier added.

“They said we could also put in our own personal preferences,” Young said, adding that the preparation “is a small price to pay for what we’re going to get out of it.”

Both will receive a small wardrobe of clothing and accessories themed to the Super Bowl, including gloves, a jacket, a long-sleeved polo shirt, hat, scarf, socks, a backpack and a water bottle.

But for both Young and Spanier, it’s about more than just the swag.

“I truly hope it’s going to be one of those weekends that you tell your kids about someday,” Young said. “For the (2014) All-Star Game at Target Field, I remember we went down there and just sat outside the stadium, but you’re not really part of it or anything. With this, you can say you played a tiny, tiny part of it.”

“My role, as a friend and person, is that I’m the one that gets allowed to do something right there with (Young),” Spanier said. “I’m up to try anything. I love new experiences. I’m not as passionate as Maggie is about this kind of stuff, but I come from a football family and I love these big events and just being part of it – something that is bigger than yourself. The people coming together to make this happen is cool.”

They will miss minimal class time by working on the weekend, and be busy when cabin fever can hit Minnesotans hard.

“This event is perfect, because February in my opinion is usually one of the slowest, dullest months, especially around campus,” Young said. “It can be depressing, but this will keep me busy a couple of weekends in a row.”