Super Bowl Homes Command $1,600 a Night as Listings Jump



Larry Kennedy was rooting against the New England Patriots last week, and not just because they often beat his favorite team, the Buffalo Bills. He figured a Denver Broncos win would provide a better chance to make money renting out his Manhattan apartment for the Super Bowl.

Kennedy, 26, listed the home on Craigslist and Airbnb three days ago after the Broncos and Seattle Seahawks secured spots in the National Football League championship game in nearby East Rutherford, N.J. He and his roommate are seeking $750 a night for the two-bedroom apartment in Greenwich Village, which may help cover some of the $3,300 monthly rent.

"Seeing as the Broncos and Seahawks are both far away, this is just about the best outcome I could have hoped for," said Kennedy, who will be skiing in Utah during the Super Bowl on Sunday. "I knew I was going to be gone so I figured it was a good opportunity to make a few dollars."

New York-area residents are finding the opportunity to profit from their homes as a swarm of football fans converge on the region to attend the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, located 8 miles from midtown Manhattan. With the teams now decided, listings for rentals are climbing as more locals seek to accommodate Broncos and Seahawks devotees rushing to make plans for the game, according to HomeAway Inc.

New Jersey

The Austin, Texas-based vacation-rental website had a more than 20 percent jump in listings for Super Bowl weekend in the "gateway" region of New Jersey—which includes towns just outside New York City such as Hoboken, Jersey City and Montclair—in the week through Wednesday. That brought the total listings available on the site in that area to 170, more than triple the number available at the same time last year.

The average nightly price of a home for rent in the New Jersey gateway region during Super Bowl week was almost $1,600 as of two days ago, according to HomeAway. In Manhattan, the average rate has jumped to $1,740 a night, compared with about $530 during a more typical time.

"Super Bowls generally drive a very large increase in supply from owners and demand from travelers," Jon Gray, a senior vice president at HomeAway, said in a telephone interview. "We expect bookings to be pretty strong right up until the last minute."

Rising Inquiries

In the three days after the conference championship games there was a surge in travelers from Seattle and Denver contacting homeowners in the New York area, Gray said. Seattle traffic was up 92 percent over the prior week and inquiries from Denver jumped 69 percent, according to HomeAway.

Tyson Thorne, a 37-year-old graphic designer at Johnson & Johnson, is among the New Jersey homeowners jumping into the rental market in the past week. He spent the the day of the conference championships photographing his newly renovated basement in Lodi to prepare for a Super Bowl listing. After hearing neighbors talking about renting out houses, he and his wife decided to offer the space with hopes of recouping costs from fixing up the area, which has a separate entrance and room for four guests.

Thorne listed the space at his home, less than 6 miles from MetLife Stadium, for $1,000 night on HomeAway, Airbnb and Craigslist on Jan. 19, not long after Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman helped seal the National Football Conference title with a pass deflection that prevented the San Francisco 49ers from scoring a potential winning touchdown.

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