Bill Capo / Action Reporter
NEW ORLEANS -- The Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation is a busy place these days, as host for the NCAA Men's Final Four basketball tournament that will be played here at the end of March.
These Sports Foundation volunteers are making lots of phone calls to line up thousands of volunteers for the Final Four and the Super Bowl next year.
"We need an enormous amount of volunteers for both the men's Final Four and the Super Bowl," said Sports Foundation President Jay Cicero. "We need over 3000 volunteers for the men's Final Four, and 8000 for the 2013 Super Bowl."
So far, 500 volunteers have signed up for the Final Four, so they need 2500 more, at least 18 years old, who want to help give visitors a great experience at a number of events, like Bracket Town, which fills the Convention Center with games.
"Community events where we're feeding the hungry, giving shoes to less fortunate children," said Sports Foundation Volunteer Director Jeff Rossi. "We have city ambassadors who really play a critical part in this. They'll be greeting people at the airport, they'll be greeting the teams, and fans, and coaches as they come to the city."
Volunteers were critical at the last New Orleans Super Bowl in 2002, and they'll be just as important this time. The Sports Foundation and Super Bowl Host Committee need individuals and groups for a week of major events.
"You can work parties, you can work concerts, you can work in hotels, you can be part of the special events that occur, like the NFL Experience," said Super Bowl Host Committee Volunteer Coordinator Carol Asher.
So when they do volunteer, they'll get commemorative hats, Polo shirts, the proper training. And the best thing of all, when the whole world is watching New Orleans, the volunteers will be the people they meet.
"They become the face of the city," said Ron Gardner of the Super Bowl Host Committee. "That's what people remember.""
And it can be something you never forget. For more information about volunteering for either the NCAA Men's Final 4, or the 2013 Super Bowl, or both, call the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation at 207-VOLS (8657), or visit their website at www.gnosports.com. "