The Super Bowl is less than one week away and we wanted to update you quickly on what Beyond Pricing's data is showing and what we’ve seen happen in the past in the Airbnb ecosystem during the SuperBowl.
Here are the trends we’re seeing:
1. Too Much Airbnb Supply
Right now, we are seeing a huge increase in the number of people listing their place on Airbnb for the Super Bowl, leading to more supply than demand. This is leading to very soft occupancy rates, across the board. Here’s a graph of occupancy for San Francisco, Palo Alto, and San Jose.
2. Unique Rentals within Walking Distance to Super Bowl Village and Levi’s Stadium Will Be in High Demand
As fans will be shelling out over $3,500 per ticket, most are looking for high-end options for their accommodations as well. Having to pay $800/night to be right next to the action is very little compared to the price of a ticket to the game, so demand is highest for those few properties that would appeal to the kind of folks who can afford a $3,500 ticket. This means that demand for simple 1 bedrooms in the Mission is fairly limited. But if you have a 5-star level loft or big house right next to the Stadium, you can likely jack prices up. The same is true with hotels. There is much more demand for luxury hotels than for 2 and 3-star hotels during the Super Bowl. Here’s an article about that from a few years ago when the Super Bowl was in Miami.
3. Demand is Spread Out Between San Francisco and San Jose Area
Despite only having 35,000 hotel rooms in SF proper, there are an additional 30,000 hotel rooms between Palo Alto and San Jose, and when you include the upper peninsula and East Bay, there is close to 100,000 rooms in the region, similar to what New York had when it hosted the Super Bowl. Airbnb hosts who were trying to charge 2-3x that year were disappointed.
4. Hotels May Start to Open Up More Rooms
Typically, the NFL books up all the hotel rooms it can, while wholesellers grab the rest. Some hotels simply block off rooms until a couple weeks before the game. As the game nears, the NFL often releases those rooms and hotels scramble to get rooms filled. Wholesellers, similar to ticket scalpers, may drop prices or unload inventory last minute.
5. So What Should You Do?
The head of pricing for one of the largest hotel owners in the US once told me: “A revenue manager never got fired for setting prices too high.” Another vacation rental property manager said something similar to me: he’d be better off doubling prices for the Super Bowl and not getting booked than get booked at what an owner might perceive to be too low a price.
So by not increasing prices we are definitely going against all that advice! We were one of the only people in the US to predict that hotel prices would plummet for the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia and that the oversupply of Airbnb’s would mean few people would get bookings much above average prices.
HOWEVER, should you prefer to try for a much higher price for the Super Bowl (or if you have one of those one-of-a-kind, ideal places that is a complete outlier), you can easily set your own prices for the Super Bowl, directly on your Beyond calendar.
We’re monitoring demand closely so follow us on Twitter and we’ll be posting updates all week.