TAMPA, Fla. — Dozens of volunteers are behind the scenes of Super Bowl LV working to make the experience as great and memorable as possible for thousands of visitors.
The goals of the Community Ambassador Program are to provide an enthusiastic and warm welcome to everyone visiting Tampa Bay and to display a high level of customer service while helping to contribute to the general atmosphere of excitement surrounding Super Bowl LV.
Julie and Ross Ohman love football. But more than that, they love helping people.
"Minnesota nice is what we call it," Ross Ohman said.
When the Super Bowl was in Minneapolis in 2018, they learned you could volunteer with the NFL Host Committee.
"I went home and I told my husband, "I think we should do that after it's in Minnesota, I think we should continue," Julie Ohman said.
The Ohmans made good on that promise and have now volunteered at three Super Bowls. They traveled from Minnesota to Atlanta in 2019, Miami in 2020 and now Tampa Bay.
"I think it's the culture that other people see also coming together, especially during this time of COVID," Ross Ohman said. "A lot of people can work together for the good of the whole community."
They've spent the last few days making sure people have a friendly face at The Super Bowl Experience at Julian B. Lane Park as well as Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa.
In general, community ambassadors help support the Host Committee throughout the Tampa Bay area at various events during the week of Super Bowl LV.
A vast majority of shifts are in the Downtown corridor along the Riverwalk. There are also Ambassadors at Tampa International Airport, local hotels, and Ambassador headquarters. Responsibilities include greeting, wayfinding and general support, according to the Super Bowl Host Committee.
Julie Ohman said sometimes a friendly face can make the difference between being confused or overwhelmed and having a great time.
"I think people you can see the urgency in some people's faces," she said. "They come up to you, I lost my phone, I can't find the room where I'm supposed to meet my friends. I think just knowing that someone's going to help them really does bring a comfort as opposed to you're standing there and you just don't know what to do."
With every question they can answer or helping hand they can lend, the Ohmans said they hope they're making a difference for visitors experiencing what is for most of us a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Community Ambassadors do not receive Super Bowl tickets or paid housing for their services.