Ever wonder what goes on inside the hotels that host the Super Bowl teams?
Now that the Feb. 6 Super Bowl matchup has been set and the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will be squaring off in Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, we can get serious about who will be providing the hospitality.
Even before this past weekend’s conference championship games, Hotel Chatter says representatives from all four team – Chicago Bears and New York Jets included – where on the ground in Dallas and scoping out hotel rooms.
But team reps are sizing up the hotels and making sure they are up to snuff for when their franchises arrive Jan. 31.
The 600-room Omni Forth Worth will host the Pittsburgh Steelers’ players, coaches, friends, families and some National Football League sponsors.
The 421-room Omni Mandalay will be doing the same for the rival Green Bay Packers.
Curious about what goes on at a Super Bowl host hotel, Hotel Chatter talked with Dan Piotrowski, general manager at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel, and Patty Cipoletti, director of sales and marketing for the Omni Mandalay to learn more.
Much like the players on the field, Piotrowski said employees at both hotels have been in training for the Super Bowl “pretty much since the season began.” Having already hosted four teams during the football season, the hotel has some good experience under its belt. (The Mandalay has also hosted two teams this season.) But of course, this isn’t a regular season game.
Nothing major will be changing as far as the rooms and public spaces go, but the hotels will provide additional security, fulfill any special dietary plans the teams have and accommodate technology needs. Piotrowski said the Omnis are even holding a special meeting this week with technicians to make sure they have enough internet bandwidth to handle all the action.
As far as extra services or amenities, Cipoletti said her hotel did order some extra, extra large bathrobes and that the children of the players will be getting special kid backpacks with Super Bowl gear.
And the players will be able to order room service whenever they want. All guests will have access to the Omnis free signature wi-fi service.
Beyond that, the added services the hotels will ultimately provide come down to the specific requests made by the Packers and Steelers.
Both hotels will be swathed in large photo wraps that will cover the hotels’ exteriors. The photo wraps will include shots of the players and the AFC/NFC/NFL logos and will cover most of the structures’ exterior space.
So which team is getting the more luxe hotel?
The digs at the Omni Forth Worth start at 369 square feet (top photo), with the presidential suites gobbling up 1,636 square feet apiece. The hotel also has several hospitality and luxury suites.
At the Mandalay, rooms start at 449 square feet (bottom photo) and its lone presidential suite is a sprawling 2,890 square feet.
Cipoletti says her hotel has plenty of one-bedroom suites, about 25 percent of their inventory, and those start at a comfy 670 square feet.
Hotel Chatter says neither hotel has an edge over the other because the room amenities and room decor are pretty similar.
But the Omni Fort Worth is close to the Super Bowl festivities that are happening in downtown Fort Worth. Those include the live ESPN broadcasts at Sundance Square for the Taste of the NFL cooking event the day before the Super Bowl. Then again, it’s not like the players are going to be doing any of that before the big day.
As for who rooms with whom, that will be up to the teams’ travel coordinators. The room assignments are already planned. Who gets the presidential suites is still a mystery. The coach? The owner? An NFL dignitary?
And what about that all-important bus ride to the stadium? Again, it turns out no team has an advantage here. Both hotels are equidistant from Cowboys Stadium, about 16 miles away.
Lastly, Hotel Chatter knows some fans are wondering if there are any rooms available and the answer is – of course not. They are sold-out to the teams and no, there is no way you can get in unless you pull some crazy NFL groupie trick.
However, the Omni Forth Worth will have many of its restaurants and bars open to the public, so if you’re keen on catching some Steelers in casual settings, this may be the way to do it.
For the original Hotel Chatter article, click here.
Written by Mike Consol