Super Bowl Mayors Hope To Score With Service Bowl

February 5, 2016       Mark Hrywna      

Call it Service Bowl IV. Or, you can call it Service Bowl 2016. Either way, the mayors of the respective cities representing the two teams in Super Bowl 50 have placed a friendly wager, with the payoff community service.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts agreed that the winning mayor would arrange for the mayor from the opposing team to participate in a day of volunteer service with AmeriCorps members. Sunday’s championship tilt in Santa Clara, Calif., will pit the Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers.

The service project will be carried out in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other volunteer programs.

“With this friendly wager, Mayors Hancock and Roberts highlight the impact and power of national service and volunteering,” Wendy Spencer, CEO of the CNCS said via a press statement announcing the project. “No matter which team wins the game, both cities – and all football fans – can celebrate the Service Bowl,” she said.

Super Bowl 50 will include a service project by Rebuilding Together, an AmeriCorps program. The 21st annual Kickoff to Rebuild will unite more than 15 NFL players from around the country with 100 local volunteers to the Bayview neighborhood to provide home repairs for six low-income families.

Which city would win the Super Bowl based its volunteerism would depend on the data set you choose. According to CNCS, 676,000 people volunteered their time in the Denver area, compared with 509,000 in the Charlotte area. But Charlotte’s volunteers logged more hours – 66.2 million (valued at $1.5 billion) to Denver’s 54.2 million (valued at $1.6 billion). Charlotte ranks fourth among large cities for volunteering and service while Denver ranks 13th in volunteering among major U.S. cities. More AmeriCorps members come from Denver than other cities its size. Mile High residents also rank second in the nation when it comes to enrolling in AmeriCorps.

It’s the fourth year in a row that mayors from the cities competing in the Super Bowl have placed the friendly service wager. The first was in 2013, when the mayors of Baltimore and San Francisco participated. That year, the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers.