Around 75 St. Charles Parish students from the Satellite Center will participate in the Super Bowl halftime show at the Super Dome on Feb. 2.
Craig Howat, Satellite Center facilitator, said he approached the NFL about having the students perform.
“I was able to contact the Super Bowl production company in charge of the Super Bowl halftime show and was able to get 75 team members from the Satellite Center to participate in a halftime performance,” Howat said. “So I am kind of leading and directing the group of team members.”
He said the response by students who wanted take part in the show was overwhelming and that there are more than 100 on a waiting list in case someone should have to drop out.
“We opened it up to the other members of the Satellite Center who were interested and could commit and we drew their names out of a hat,” Howat said.
Students who are participating will not get chance to stick around and see the game itself.
“They are basically going to be meeting at an offsite location and getting on the bus and pushing them in and getting them after the performance to go back out,” Howat said. “One of the lines in the agreement says ‘if you are a fan of the Super Bowl and you want to watch the Super Bowl don’t attend. This isn’t for you.’”
Howat said his connections within Saints organization helped in securing the spots for the local students.
“I work for the New Orleans Saints pre-game as well as a side gig,” he said. “What I do with all the Saints games is getting people on and off the field and helping out with the presentation coordinating.”
The students will join about 5,000 other volunteers who have been sworn to secrecy by the organization on what it is they will be doing.
“All that we know right now is that there is a couple of rehearsals we have to attend,” Howat said.
All participants have had to sign liability and confidentiality waivers to participate and cannot bring cell phones or cameras to the halftime show practices or the event itself.
“Basically the only thing that is allowed to go in is a granola bar in your pocket. No purses or anything. I mean it is locked down,” Howat said.
The level of secrecy is so high the students do not even know the full role they will be playing on Super Bowl Sunday.
“I had all of the kids watch all of the last three Super Bowl halftime performances just so they are aware,” Howat said. “One of the biggest things is not being able to wear clothes with logos. If you watch the video, especially of two years ago, it was blacked out. Everybody on the floor wore white body suits. I said this is what you may be wearing we don’t know, you’ll know on Sunday.”
Howat said the reason behind the extreme secrecy surrounding the halftime show is that it is one of the most anticipated performances of the year and that viewers are often treated to surprises that the NFL would like to keep under wraps.
“I can understand just last year it was ‘tune into the halftime performance with Madonna,’” Howat said. “They never talked about Cee Lo or Niki Minaj or ten other people that made an appearance on stage as well – to me that is part of that suspense.”