There is much more to the National Football League than just the matches we see and much planning goes into it. Oftentimes, we forget that these players have to travel from their base to the designated locations in order to play in the NFL.
Now, while these touchdown travels that NFL players experience are not as tiresome as they once were, it doesn’t completely erase the exhaustion that comes with it. The process isn’t as simple as heading to rival locations; there is an ever-rotating schedule of cross-country opponents to beat.
As we move forward in this article, we will take a closer look at some aspects of the topic of NFL teams traveling around the world.
Let’s get started!
Size of Each Traveling Party
The fact that more people are traveling per team says a lot. In previous years, those who traveled on the road in the team averaged about 115 to 120. But because there are now more players, more staff, and even more coaches, that has changed.
Now, about 185 passengers go on the road trip. The employees usually involved in this travel include players, coaches, front office members, equipment staff, sponsors, security agents, training personnel, radio crew members, and doctors. There’s just more of everything involved in game day.
Planning Begins In Early Spring
Most teams already begin their planning even before the schedule for the season is released. By early spring, they already know their ten preseason opponents. This way, they can get things started as soon as possible.
This is because arrangements with hotels regarding meeting rooms, dinner rooms, training rooms, and other facilities can begin. It is also important to know how much these arrangements will cost and how to budget accordingly. And once the season schedule is released, specific hotel options are removed because they are not the right fit.
A Little Destination Research is Needed
While preparations are made for hotel destinations, the personnel in charge of travel operations gather together. They do this to compare notes and get feedback from one another regarding hotel recommendations for the locations they are heading to.
Usually, a couple of teams would have stayed at the same hotel at different times, so ratings and reviews are gotten from them this way. They emphasize the overall hotel quality, the quality of their dishes, layout, spaciousness, and security.
Released Schedule Means Full-scale Planning
Immediately after the schedule is released, the previously slow planning process speeds up. Now, arrangements are bound by time constraints and must be done quickly.
Negotiations with hotel management can then begin to finalize contracts. Once arrangements ranging from food to privacy to security are sorted, contracts are signed, and transportation commences.
Means Of Transportation
Of course, the destination distance is considered when deciding on the means of transportation to be used. A bus or train is the ideal means if it’s somewhere closeby. But an airplane is the obvious choice if it’s a far distance.
For some teams, they can go a long time without having to board a flight to their destinations. This is because their games are only some ways off and don’t require an airplane ride.
Transportation of Team’s Equipment
Regarding the transportation of equipment, things are done differently. Regardless of the distance, teams often truck their equipment to their destinations.
Usually, teams use an 18-wheeler that leaves several hours before the team gets to the destination in time. Besides the equipment transported, the truck also contains training supplies, AV, etc. They can then set up shop for what usually is a 24-hour stay.
In some cases, however, equipment transportation is done by flying it all in the belly of an aircraft. They then arrange for ground handling at the airport.
Early Arrival Time
Generally, teams arrive at the destination early enough to have enough time to rest up and settle down. Some come as early as 18 hours to kickoff. Upon getting there, they have meetings, review their strategies, eat dinner, and bedhead.
Then, when it’s game day, some might have a church service, then breakfast. Then they take a bus to the stadium when it’s time for the game.
The whole process of touchdown traveling is quite a cumbersome and stressful one. A process that should usually be done within at least a month is condensed down to only a couple of weeks and so accelerated. But this is where good planning comes in; the fatigue will be minimal with effective planning.
With a meticulously executed strategy, the fatigue synonymous with such a condensed timeline can be artfully minimized, affording travelers the luxury of savoring the excitement inherent in every step of their adventure – much like the thrill experienced when they can play slot for real money in NFL-themed games!