SPS sophomore Christian Alfaro has found a way to juggle pursuing his sports management major, being involved in hall and student council as well as working on the Events Operation Staff for the New York Red Bulls. Alfaro’s job takes up most of his time on the weekends where he sometimes works a total of 24 hours. He has been on the team since June. Here Alfaro details his typical weekend on the job.
7:40 a.m.: For a typical game that starts at 7 p.m., I usually have to wake up at this time. I shower and grab Dunkin Donuts if I have time. Then I walk to the Path Train Station at 14th and 6th. It’s about a 40 minute commute and drops me right at the arena.
9 a.m.: As soon as I arrive at arena, I go straight into work. My first job is to handle the field seats. Then, we carry out the advertising boards for the game, and then we split up to set up the technical area. This involves bringing out the benches for the players and bringing out the medical equipment. We get to roll out three red carpets and bring out a statue of a bull.
11 a.m.: We pump the balls that the players are going to use for the game. In between, I’ll go get drinks for the beverage cooler.
12 p.m.: All of the staff orders lunch, and it’s always the exact same order from Nino’s pizza for about 15 of us that have been working on the field.
3 p.m.: The official equipment guys come, so we carry out the team equipment. We communicate with the trainers to see what they want put in each cooler. The staff changes into game polos before the players come.
5 p.m.: We wait for players to arrive and escort them to the locker room. Usually, the players arriving is pretty mundane. But when the international teams come, like Ecuador or Peru, there’s a lot of energy and excitement because of their rivalries.
6:25 p.m.: The warm-up starts before the game. My goal is to keep track of all 28 balls used for warm-up and make sure none of them are misplaced. I also tie a rope to keep the photographers back.
7:00 p.m.: This is when the players start walking out. The National Anthem plays, and there’s a cool tradition where everyone echoes “red” after “…and the rocket’s red glare…” After the national anthem, we go about re-stocking the fridges with drinks for the players.
8:45 p.m.: We wait for the players to come back to the tunnel and the photographers clear. Then, the clean up takes about another hour.
10 p.m.: I take the PATH train home and if I’m lucky, I get back around midnight. I’m usually tired after the long day but after so many times, it has become routine.
Even after all this, Alfaro said this is one of his easier days. He recalls some days on the job when he did even more physically intense work and couldn’t feel his legs afterward. Other days, he has started as early as 7 a.m. and ended at 2 a.m. But despite some of the hardships, Alfaro always feels accomplished at the end of the day.
“I really enjoy what I do,” he said. “I learn a lot of things behind the scenes that outsiders might not see. Many of the things I do are eye-opening.”
Email Ankita Bhanot at [email protected]