The Logistics of the NFL Super Bowl

Around the States in 17 Weeks

As we approach one of the biggest sporting events of the year, it seems timely to discuss what it takes for the NFL to happen from a logistical standpoint. For my blog this month, I will be discussing the processes involved with moving the competing teams both domestically and internationally over the course of the season, on the journey towards Super Bowl LIV.

What needs be moved?

Moving an NFL team is a mammoth task. On average between 180 – 200 players, coaches, assistants, media, medical, sponsors, security and equipment staff are involved for each of the 16 games of a regular season. On top of this you also have the equipment for players and media including helmets, pads, cleats, cameras and physio equipment. The costs and logistics of moving all the people and equipment often surprise people when compared to other team sports like Major League Soccer or Major League Baseball.

On average each NFL team is spending between $4,000,000 – $4,500,000 per year on travel expenses, this includes hiring freight/logistics companies, hotels, meals, flights and/or buses etc. Imagine the bill for over 50 world class athletes at your local restaurant, I know I wouldn’t be covering that bill, let alone the tip!

The Logistics

The organisation required for the project management alone to ensure everything and everyone gets to the games on time is ridiculous. Most people struggle to sort themselves out for a business trip or a holiday – now imagine being responsible for over 150 people! Franchises will hire their own employees that that specialise in project management for sports teams. They will handle everything from arranging the packing and loading of the equipment to booking flights and transfers.

On most occasions for more local games, some teams will use logistics companies to transport their equipment for road games for example the Ravens vs the Redskins, however for most matchups the process begins at the team’s training facility (Arrowhead) where they and all the equipment are loaded onto buses. From there they are transferred to their nearest airport (KCI) then they board an aeroplane which will transport them to the an away team’s local airport in this case the Raiders (OIA) from there the same processes happens, a logistics company will transfer the equipment to the team’s facility. From there the Chiefs simply dominate teams vertically and win games.

Quantifying the distances

When we look at the mileage teams cover over the course of the season most players are covering the equivalent to 355,956 Mahomes to Hill 89-yard touchdowns passes per year. The Chiefs began their regular season on the road to the Jacksonville Jaguars, an easy 1,140-mile trip, and ended it at home to their divisional rivals the Chargers. In total for the season they travelled over 18,000 miles, including a visit to Mexico, this season for the regular season alone.

As the NFL searches for ways to increase revenue, the idea of creating a London based team continuously pops up. However, when you bear in mind the mileage that teams already rack up having a team travel from London to Arrowhead (4,342 miles) returning back and to then face the 49ers (5,351) – could this all be too much?

The show must go on!

Since 1935, a regular NFL game has never been cancelled due to weather. Considering the climate, diverse environment and extreme weather frequenting the States, for there not to have been a game cancelled for over 80 years is simply incredible. Considering that back home in the UK, premier league football matches have been known to be cancelled due to moisture in the air, it’s a credit to the NFL and players for maintaining this streak of play. They literally get everything and everyone one to the games through hurricanes, tornados, rain or sunshine – the logistics professionals responsible also deserve applause!

Super Bowl Winners – My Prediction!

So what is my prediction for the Super Bowl this year? The Winners will be the Kansas City Chiefs (I hope)! Do you agree? Which team do you think will triumph?

Written by David Cohen  – Recruitment Consultant at Alchemy Global Talent Solutions