By Cheryl Albiez, Media Relations Staff
On Sunday, the United States women’s national soccer team captured a 2-0 victory in the 2019 World Cup in France.
A little more than 24 hours later, the Newark Liberty International Airport staff had transformed the tarmac into an impromptu welcome back party, complete with red carpet, water cannon salutes, congratulatory banners and plenty of VIPs and cheers.
It was a triumphant event and showcase of American pride for the world champions. The celebration will continue in the coming days and weeks, and Newark Liberty was proud to have hosted the team’s first victory celebration on American soil. This morning, they were greeted by tens of thousands of fans during a ticker-tape parade up Broadway and celebration at City Hall.
But the challenge for Port Authority airport employees was pulling together an extraordinary event in extremely limited time.
Various airport stakeholders had to be notified. Mass coordination between agencies needed to take place. Vast resources were deployed, with security plans drafted and set in motion. Banners had to be printed, ordered and hung in short order, and a press riser was delivered. Hundreds of bicycle racks had to be set up.
And by 3 p.m. on July 8, everything was ready to welcome the team home.
Media and guests arrived, and the team landed around 4:30 p.m. By 5 p.m. the plane doors had opened and the celebration began. After the team departed the airport grounds for New York, so did everyone else. Everyone, except the maintenance staff that was left to break down everything they had just spent hours setting up.
The pictures of the team’s arrival captured the joyous and proud moments. Chanting, applause and lots of laughs and cheers were shared, and all was made possible by the airport staff who helped make it happen.
Thank you to all the airport staff, with a special shout out to Newark Liberty International Airport maintenance and operations teams, Port Authority Police, Newark Liberty Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, aircraft charter company ACC Aviation Group, and UPS, which handled the flight.
Congratulations again to the United States women’s national soccer team for taking home another proud win for the country.