Inside Look: Super Bowl Transportation Planning

Bill Faeth
Posted on March 28, 2018

Planning, managing, and delivering great service for large events is no easy task - especially if you are a first timer. Now imagine taking on the granddaddy of all events for ground transportation operators...The Super Bowl. Coordinating rides for the event is not for the faint of heart or for the inexperienced.

With the next Super Bowl less than a year away, it is necessary to start planning if you operate in the Atlanta area. But, for those of you operating outside of the ATL, preparation for the big game is of equal importance. From sending vehicles for your clients to setting up local affiliate transportation, there is a ton of work to be done. Believe me, the clock is ticking. The operators who contributed to this article started planning 10-15 months in advance because there is so much that goes into providing chauffeured services during the Super Bowl.

I remember visiting my former client, EmpireCLS, at their New Jersey office in October and they were planning for the Super Bowl at the Meadowlands when it was still 16 months out. They were securing hotel rooms, communicating with clients, and already planning out staging areas for vehicle, chauffeur, and affiliate accommodations, and much more.

Being local is one thing; sending vehicles to an affiliate in the host city is another. If you are sending vehicles, you still have a lot of planning to do. First and foremost, make sure you have a written contract with your local affiliate for everything from parking permits to hotel rooms and payment terms.

The great thing about the Super Bowl is you can make a lot of money in a short period of time. A few weeks ago in Minneapolis, some last minute booked SUVs were going for $270-$300/hr with 10 hour daily minimums and Sprinters were close to $400.

Here are some of the 2018 Super Bowl experiences from local operators and some that sent vehicles from out of town.

How much time and effort went into planning for the Super Bowl?

THE LOCAL PERSPECTIVE

Matt Loegering, 1st Class Transportation: “We started planning the logistics about four months in advance and doubled the size of our fleet as we brought in affiliates from surrounding cities to help with the demand.”

Chad Peterson, Renee’s Limousine: “We spent a lot of time and effort planning. Beginning nine months out we had to establish our pricing rules and a Super Bowl specific contract. Five months out we began recruiting additional chauffeurs. The last two weeks prior included very intense training, practice runs, as well as insurance and DOT compliance. And much more in-between!”

Charlie Murray, Total Transportation: “We partnered with the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee in January of 2016 and became the official ground transportation company for MSNBC. That partnership and the hundreds of hours of planning over the last two years was crucial to our success.”

THE OUT OF TOWN PERSPECTIVE

Scott & Melissa Woodruff, Majestic Limo & Coach (Des Moines, IA): “There was some preliminary planning, but things really got busy in December with putting it all together. Our GM handled the DOT permits, but overall this went very smooth. I worked with one company to secure eight of the 10 vehicles we sent, so working with one person really made things easier for us. The last few weeks leading up to it were crazy with last minute requests from various affiliates. About 25% of my time in December and January were spent on Super Bowl requests and changes.”

What was the "ONE" thing you did not plan for you would want to share with your peers for future Super Bowls?

THE LOCAL PERSPECTIVE

Matt Loegering, 1st Class Transportation: “Having to input all of the farm-out reservations manually due to system issues.”

THE OUT OF TOWN PERSPECTIVE

Jason Taylor, Prestige Transportation (Kansas City, KS): “We have a First Class Custom Sprinter we bought new in 2017 with a limousine interior. This vehicle was like the “plague”...no one wanted to rent it. We actually sent the vehicle to Minneapolis without it being rented with the hope it would be needed. Turned out the vehicle got chartered for 28 hours over the weekend at double our normal hourly rate. I would suggest operators for next year’s Super Bowl focus on having vehicles that cater to corporate needs, so shuttle seating versus limo style.

Would you do it again and why? (Aside from the money)

THE LOCAL PERSPECTIVE

Matt Loegering, 1st Class Transportation: “Yes, it was a great opportunity to test our systems and processes under the most stressful environment.”

Chad Peterson, Renee’s Limousine: “Absolutely! The experience really pulled our team together. Everyone was pushed to (and beyond) the limit, which created a level of inspiration and dedication unique to this experience. We also built incredible relationships with new clients and affiliates that will likely lead to future business.”

THE OUT OF TOWN PERSPECTIVE

Scott & Melissa Woodruff, Majestic Limo & Coach (Des Moines, IA): “YES! It was exciting for a Des Moines affiliate to be able to be a part of the Super Bowl. Our drivers really loved the teamwork and camaraderie from the trip. I was very proud to see not only our team, but all the affiliates involved pull together to make it a success for all involved...BUT I was happy to see Tuesday come!”

Scott Tyler, Ecostyle Transportation (Raleigh, NC): “YES. This is a no brainer. The experience is wonderful. Our staff and chauffeurs have a blast seeing and being a directly involved with the Super Bowl experience.”

What was the biggest challenge you faced onsite the week of the game?

THE LOCAL PERSPECTIVE

Chad Peterson, Renee’s Limousine: “Securing oversize vehicle parking for Sprinters, buses, and stretches was a big challenge. The Super Bowl committee also did not release entry points to the security perimeter until a few days prior to game day, which made strategizing for efficient drop-offs and pick-ups challenging.”

Matt Loegering, 1st Class Transportation: "Keeping up on billing and system integration issues with other affiliates. Very poor support from software providers.”

Charlie Murray, Total Transportation: “Our biggest challenge would have been the amount of hours all of our staff had to put in. It was all hands on deck day and night.”

THE OUT OF TOWN PERSPECTIVE

Scott Tyler, Ecostyle Transportation (Raleigh, NC): “Parking. Our chauffeur hotel changed their minds once they saw the amount and size of our equipment. We had to find a new parking area big enough, safe, and convenient to our chauffeur hotels.”

Jason Taylor, Prestige Transportation (Kansas City, KS): “There are many challenges. Traffic was absurd and many normal operating procedures that local operators are used to kind of get thrown out the window in order to get the job done. Examples might include thinking your local FBO will operate as usual with just more planes...wrong!

What advice would you give to operators going to Atlanta for next year's Super Bowl?

THE LOCAL PERSPECTIVE

Matt Loegering, 1st Class Transportation: “Test your systems across multiple platforms with each potential affiliate's for sending and receiving reservations.”

Charlie Murray, Total Transportation: “The best advice I would give is don’t completely sell out your fleet. I would leave 5% of your fleet for last minute changes and additions.”

THE OUT OF TOWN PERSPECTIVE

Scott Tyler, Ecostyle Transportation (Raleigh, NC): “Take the time visit and get to know the area. Work with your partners to ensure you can convey the city logistics back to your staff. You must be able to operate the city as if you are a local to ensure client satisfaction.”

Scott & Melissa Woodruff, Majestic Limo & Coach (Des Moines, IA): “Make sure you have any necessary DOT permits, parking passes, and hotels booked. Hotel rooms are especially important for those affiliates in the surrounding areas. This way you are prepared when your clients or affiliates need your help when the local affiliates are already booked. We created a group text for those drivers handling the same group. This was very helpful for the drivers to share traffic delays and to let another driver know when someone was needed at the hotel or airport.”

As you can see from the comments above, planning well in advance is key to a successful Super Bowl; so if you are planning on getting in the mix to capture a slice of this mega pie in Atlanta, I would recommend you start planning now and even reach out to some of the seasoned veterans that have worked previous Super Bowls.

Bill Faeth is the founder of Limo University (www.LimoGrowth.com), Inbound Marketing Agents (www.inboundmarketingagents.com), and 23 additional startups, including Silver Oak Transportation of Nashville, Tenn. As a successful former operator and active advocate for the industry, Bill continues to invest in educating and training operators on how to grow, manage, and sustain a more profitable business. You can reach Bill at [email protected] Bill Faeth LCT columns, articles, and blog posts here.

Related Topics: Bill Faeth, blog, group transportation, LCT Blog, Profit Motives, sports team transportation, Super Bowl

Comments ( 1 )
  • Anthony

     | about 6 months ago

    The san francisco superbowl put a sour taste on my stomach... With the large operator placing adds on the internet for chauffeurs.. work the superbowl.... earn possible tips. A once in a lifetime expirience :( We had a handfull of chauffeurs with corporate vip expirience ready to go drive for the event but they were not wanted. They wanted regular people so they would not have to pay the standard limousine wages. We sent a vehicle for our vip clients for th fri sat sun... although the company taking control of the event told our clients security contact that we were not allowed to work the event. We did not argued and did the 2 days and hoped our replacement would be as good as our guys. We could have made an issue about that between our client and the superbowl clowns but in the best interest of not creating chaos we allowed them to strong arm the issue.

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