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Miley Cyrus photo helps couple prove they worked at Super Bowl, get paid

Workers say they weren't paid, weren't in the system
Jill-Graichen-and-Miley-Cyrus-at-the-Super-Bowl.jpg
Posted at 5:38 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 18:49:01-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Last month’s Super Bowl in Tampa enabled thousands of local temporary workers to earn some extra cash.

But the I-Team has uncovered not everyone who worked Tampa Bay's big game got paid, despite state-of-the-art technology used to track their every move.

“This was something we were looking forward to because of the lack of work,” said George Smith.

Smith and his fiancée Jill Graichen have worked at events for Allore Management for two years.

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But before this year’s Super Bowl, there weren’t many other recent opportunities.

“Our supervisor told us last year they paid the employees like $500 in Miami last year, so we were like ‘Wow, we want to work the Super Bowl,’” Smith said.

“Your picture shows up. They tell you you’re good. You’re clocked in”

They went through training and arrived early Super Bowl Sunday morning at the Florida State Fairgrounds to check-in for their shift and catch a ride to Raymond James Stadium, where the game was played.

“We were there at 9 a.m. on time. Because we had to sign to get our badges,” said Smith.

Barcoded badges were supposed to track their hours and where they went.

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“Every area you walked in, you had to scan in,” Smith said.

They say their badges were scanned repeatedly as they got on the bus, arrived at the stadium and checked into their work stations.

“When you clock into the machines, your picture shows up,” Graichen said. “They tell you you’re good. You’re clocked in. You’re clocked out. “

Before and during the game, George and Jill took lots of pictures, as they helped fans find their seats, reported issues to security and directed people to concessions, souvenir shops and exits.

“I was doing what I was told to do,” Smith said.

They say they were at Raymond James Stadium until long after the last fan left, working until around midnight.

But as weeks passed, their promised paychecks didn’t arrive.

Finally, they called their supervisor.

“When we contacted her, she was like George we already paid everyone. Your name and your timesheet wasn’t sent to me,” Smith said. “It doesn’t make sense how they lost us and everyone else got paid.”

The company that hired them, Allore Management, was a subcontractor for Sentry Event Services, which was a subcontractor for S.A.F.E. Management, which contracted with the National Football League to provide workers for game day.

Those companies performed background checks and tracked the movements of temporary workers inside the stadium using the badges, to prevent anyone from pretending to be an employee and posing a security threat.

But George and Jill said they were told they couldn’t be found in the system, despite each swiping their badges multiple times throughout the day.

Childhood idol Miley Cyrus takes photo proving she was there

The couple contacted all the contractors, providing proof they were at the game, including a picture Jill took with her childhood idol, who she met while working at the game.

Jill says “Hannah Montana,” the Disney Chanel show where Cyrus got her big break, was her favorite show.

She says she heard Cyrus talking in the restroom and knew immediately who she was, despite a mask covering her face.

Cyrus performed a concert for vaccinated health care workers prior to the Super Bowl, then attended the game.

“I got a picture with Miley Cyrus there. How else would I run into her?” Graichen said.

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Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but they’re not always considered proof

Graichen says she was originally told the photos weren’t proof they worked at the event, only that they attended the Super Bowl.

Graichen says that suggestion was preposterous.

“I can’t afford to go to a $12,000 event,” she said.

After failing to get answers, George and Jill reached out to the ABC Action News I-Team.

We called Allore Management and a manager said the company still doesn’t know what went wrong, but they’re now working with the main contractor to get the couple paid.

George and Jill say their checks can’t arrive quickly enough.

“We’ve got things that we need to pay. Without that money, we’re having a hard time and having to borrow to pay our bills,” Smith said.

Allore Management told us the couple was paid for attending a mandatory training session before the Super Bowl and that they were the only two temporary employees in the company’s crew of 100 who weren’t paid.

If you have a story you’d like the I-Team to investigate, email us at adam@abcactionnews.com.