Why Disposable Gloves are the MVP of Football

With the countdown to the National Football League 2015 season looming, not to mention thousands of high schools and colleges preparing for upcoming seasons of their own, it is worthwhile to consider the place disposable gloves hold in football stadiums.

This year's NFL kickoff takes place on Thursday, Sept. 10 at Gillette Field in Foxborough, Massachusetts, where the Pittsburgh Steelers will face off against the New England Patriots. According to the stadium's website, up to 5,000 staff members are needed to operate the stadium for each game, including food service, janitors, medical professionals and vehicle support. The number may be larger or smaller in high school and college stadiums around the country, but one thing is for sure: Football stadiums require quite an arsenal of disposable gloves to meet the needs of employees. While the athletes themselves won't sport nitrile, latex, or vinyl gloves, there are many employees in the background who rely on gloves to get their jobs done. Where would a football stadium be without food service employees to keep hungry fans happy, janitors to keep the stadium clean, physicians to deal with injuries and vehicle support staff to ensure players make it to games?

Food service
Gillette Stadium boasts that Patriots fans eat more than one ton of Italian sausage on a typical game day and consume 186 gallons of clam chowder. To safely deliver these food items, as well as any others a stadium sells, workers need disposable gloves to prevent cross-contamination. These employees need to change gloves frequently and go through up to 20 pairs each day. For this reason, food service employees are most likely to wear poly or vinyl gloves, which provide the required protection at a low cost.

Janitorial and maintenance
Overall, Gillette Field has a capacity of almost 67,000 people and covers nearly 2 million square feet, according to the stadium's website. That's a lot of space to clean. To protect themselves from cleaning chemicals and bacteria, janitorial staff require disposable gloves. These employees may use vinyl, nitrile or latex gloves. Vinyl is the most cost-effective option, but nitrile and latex provide superior chemical and puncture resistance.

"Disposable gloves play a big role behind the scenes at football games."

Medical
Football players often sustain many injuries throughout the course of a season, ranging from serious concussions to minor cuts and scrapes. Medical professionals don disposable gloves, such as latex or nitrile, to provide a barrier against potential bodily fluid contact and protect wounds from contamination.

Vehicle support
When watching players face off on the field, it's easy to forget many of them had to travel hundreds of miles to get there. A CBS News profile of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' travel to a game in Pittsburgh noted all the players board a bus to and from the airport, and roughly 16,000 pounds of equipment accompanies the team to each away game. Stadiums may keep mechanics and vehicle maintenance staff on-site to make sure vehicles are in working order to transport players and gear from point A to point B. These staff are most likely to wear durable latex or nitrile gloves for their enhanced protection.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators across the country will fill stadiums this season, but without disposable gloves, it would be impossible for them to watch their favorite players on the field. Disposable gloves are every year's most valuable player.