KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The finishing touches are being put on Super Bowl LVI as it’s right around the corner.
“Yes, I can tell you that it’s going to be fabulous,” Todd Barnes, senior principal and architect, said.
The biggest one-day event in the world is coordinated by the Kansas City architecture firm he works for, Populous.
“What I do overall is event design, which is strange to think that an architect would be involved with event design, but we come at it from a different approach, a different tact,” Barnes said.
Populous will have over 100 people working on the Super Bowl event itself, but many more were involved in the planning process which began over two years prior.
“It really does take a tremendous amount of teamwork to bring it here, not only from a facility perspective with the NFL, with the local and statewide agencies. It’s a team effort and ultimately it’s a regional effort that has a tremendous impact on the community,” Jason Gannon, managing director of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, said.
In addition to his role as managing director of the stadium, Gannon is on the Super Bowl Host Committee. He’s also a Kansas City Chiefs fan and graduate of the University of Missouri.
Despite his ties to Kansas City, Gannon told KSHB 41 he is enjoying his new role in Los Angeles, California.
“I mean, listen, Los Angeles is a great sporting community. You have two NFL teams, two baseball teams. You have all these events,” Gannon said. “Certainly with the Super Bowl this year, the college football national championship in 2023, the Olympics, we’re working on the World Cup bid as a lot of other cities are, it’s just a great time to be in Los Angeles.”
Gannon works alongside Populous, who oversees every detail on Super Bowl Sunday from signage and parking to the Vince Lombardi Trophy ceremony.
“Hate to say it, but it truly is like another day at the office. I will be up very early on Super Bowl Sunday and usually when I walk into the stadium, I usually say just that, just another day,” Barnes said.
It becomes just another day at the office when you’ve done it before, according to Barnes.
Populous has been involved in 34 Super Bowls since 1985 and 12 Olympic and Paralympic Games since 1996. Not to mention the NCAA tournaments, the World Cup and other iconic event around the world.
“World Cup soccer, or Major League Baseball All-Star game, the Field of Dreams game, NFL Draft, a lot of international games, MLB London as well as just recently in London for the NFL and a lot of their international games,” Barnes said.
The local based company is full of Chiefs fans who were hoping for a Chiefs versus 49ers Super Bowl. While that won’t happen this year, Kansas City will still be represented at SoFi Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday.