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Opinion: Class collaborating with Arizona Cardinals paves the way for paid student jobs in sports industry

Students will gain invaluable experience — and get paid — through on-the-job training at the Arizona Cardinal's stadium

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State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals.


Working in sports does not necessarily mean you have a job as a player, a coach or a journalist. There are many other opportunities to work at a professional sports stadium that are not necessarily “pretty jobs,” but they are jobs that are essential to the everyday operations of a stadium, such as concessions and parking attendants. This fall, ASU will offer a class that gives students a chance to see some of the other opportunities for stadium work during the season. 

The class, PRM 494/487: Arizona Cardinals Rotational Program, will place ASU students alongside employees in a real-life environment at the home of the Arizona Cardinals, State Farm Stadium, to give students a taste of what it actually feels like to work in a stadium on game day.

The program was also offered in a limited capacity last fall, and students from ASU and other colleges around the Valley participated, according to Erin Schneiderman, a clinical assistant professor in the School of Community Resources and Development and instructor of the program. 

The students will be working for two vendors that are on-site, Insignia Event Services, which handles the parking operations at the stadium, and Craft Culinary Concepts, which handles the food and beverage services. Students will be paid $16 per hour for the hours they work, so it’s essentially like having a part-time job while you’re in class.

“There really aren’t many classes outside of internships at ASU where you can earn college credits and be compensated, which is kind of a cool situation,” Schneiderman said. 

In the era of unpaid internships, which seem unfair and sketchy, this program is a dream for some college students who are struggling to get by. I know for myself, making $16 per hour would be amazing. Some people have rent, others have car payments and some just need extra money. For a struggling college student, the extra money could be the difference between being able to eat or not.

ASU should have more classes like this in other majors. It would be beneficial to have on-the-job training for any job a student chooses to do. It could be something like an upper-division class that only certain students have access to.

This leads me to believe this class will lead to more opportunities for students from all backgrounds to get a job. This class is a foolproof way to try out a job, and if you don’t like it, you can try something else. 

For a lot of people, finding a job after college is a problem. This class is an amazing way to gain experience in order to get a job and stick with it after graduation.

“Students will learn critical event management components, they will know what it’s like to be a part of a team … and they will leave this class with a lot of knowledge about what it takes to plan mega-events, sporting events, events inside large venues, and I believe they’ll have the tools to continue moving forward whether it’s with this organization or with others,” Schneiderman said.

Those are all skills that can translate to any field students wish to work in, and with experience in the entertainment management field, students could work from day one when they graduate college.

This partnership not only benefits the vendors that are hiring these ASU students, but it benefits the students who are struggling to try to find work. That is truly innovative. 


Reach the reporter at jdhinkl1@asu.edu and follow @JeffreyHinkle_ on Twitter.

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Editor's note: The opinions presented in this column are the author's and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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