With some estimates putting their numbers in excess of 8,000 the Super Bowl XLVI celebration in downtown Indianapolis has not exactly been short on volunteers, many of whom signed up within the first few days of open volunteer registration. They volunteered their time to help total strangers find their way around the downtown celebration area. You could see them everywhere throughout the downtown landscape, with their official ID tags, knitted scarves and iconic yellow flags.
Volunteer training took place at Martin University. Each of the volunteers was outfitted with specific items, such as a coat, hat and long-sleeve shirt and even a scarf that was knitted by local volunteers. Each was assigned a specific role, be it helping attendees find their way around “Super Bowl Village”, greeting travelers arriving at the Indianapolis International Airport and local hotels, or helping passers-by on Georgia Street.
One such volunteer was Leann Sullivan. While Leann is not a Hoosier native, she has lived in Indiana for the past 16 years. She had a very good command of the celebration and all its complexities. She says she signed up to be a volunteer in the very beginning stages, and that she just wanted to help out and be a part of the celebration. She expressed that everyone she had observed had been very well-behaved and that there had been no untoward incidents.
In the final analysis, these volunteers deserve praise and respect for selflessly offering their time to help make this Super Bowl celebration run as smoothly as possible. For a great many attendees, Indianapolis is an unknown city. Having someone available to answer questions and give directions makes a huge difference.
In a sense, they are de facto ambassadors for the city since it is their faces, their voices, their knowledge and their consideration that out-of-towners will carry with them. And it is this overall positive impression that will play a signifcant role in shaping their opinion of the city itself.