Live in a Football Town? Here’s Why You Might Want to List Your Place on Airbnb

Football players holding up football.
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Football season. Throwing the ole’ pigskin around. Tailgating. Blocking and tackling. Frozen tundra. A rocking home crowd at the stadium.

It’s the fourth quarter, and your team is going for it on fourth down. The crowd rises to its feet …

Yeeeeeaahh, that’s what I’m talkin’ about. That feeling. There’s nothing like it.

That’s why football fans travel for football. They travel for college football. They travel for NFL football.

Well, if you live anywhere near a football stadium and you have a spare room, you can make bank off of it. Try listing your room on Airbnb for the next big game.

Heck, rent out your whole apartment or home if you’re able to vacate it for a day or two and crash on a friend or relative’s couch. You can make hundreds of dollars this way.

Airbnb, the website where people can list their space for travelers, has grown to offer more than a million listings. Now it’s increasingly taking aim at the sports-travel market, sponsoring half marathons and partnering with NFL teams like the Buffalo Bills.

Want to get in on the action? We reviewed dozens of Airbnb listings near NFL and college football stadiums, and here’s what we learned:

1. Just a Room Will Do

Many listings on Airbnb offer unoccupied houses and apartments to travelers. But you don’t need that much real estate to play this game.

All you need is a room. For example, check out these Airbnb listings for rooms near Lambeau Field in Wisconsin, where the Green Bay Packers play.

Here’s a private room in a four-bedroom home. It rents for $37 per night, or $140 on game days.

“We will interact with guests as much or as little as they wish,” the hosts write. “Please keep in mind that we may have other guests staying at the same time in another room.”

Here’s one for a “quaint old-fashioned room” in the host’s house. She charges $62 a night, or $165 on game days.

2. Big Game? Charge More

Experienced Airbnb hosts learn how much they can charge. Check out this host who lists a two-bedroom condo near the University of Alabama, a college football powerhouse.

“Rate for Florida, A&M, and Auburn nights is $1,000 per night. Rate for other SEC games nights is $800 per night. Rate for non-conference games would be $250 to $600 per night, depending on game.”

Supply and demand. Strategic pricing. When Auburn plays Alabama, it’s a big, big deal in those parts.

Don’t know how much rent to charge during special events? That’s a common problem for beginning hosts.

Make sure you try the Airbnb calculator to see what your place is worth on a regular night, and to give you a baseline.

3. Be Prepared for a Crowd

Know that hardcore football fans travel in packs.

Here’s an Airbnb host near Penn State’s football stadium who’s prepared: “There is 1 bed only. I do provide 2 twin air mattresses. The space *allows* 6 people, but it is not designed for more than a single couple. If you wish to maximize the value by bringing more than 2 people, informal sleeping arrangements should be expected.”

If that sounds like a lot of guests, just know that he charges $599 a night on game weekends.

This host near the Denver Broncos stadium has the same idea: “With two living areas with sleeper couches, you can sleep up to 12 people comfortably including the air mattress in the downstairs living area.”

If you don’t want a crowd, you need to say so. Follow the example of this host who’s renting out a one-bedroom apartment for Buffalo Bills games: “Please note I will no longer tolerate two people signing up and showing up with 6-8 people. You’ll be charged for the extras.”

4. Don’t Neglect the Basics

If you’re a newbie host, here are a few basic tips. Taking a few simple steps can make the difference between a great experience and a less-than-satisfactory one.

  • Be a good host, and make sure your place is stocked with the toiletries you’d expect at a hotel — toilet paper, soap and towels.
  • Be personable. A lot of travelers turn to Airbnb for the personal touch they won’t find at commercial properties.
  • Hosting laws vary from city to city. Know the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.

5. Don’t Get Greedy

During the most recent Super Bowl in Houston, the locals jumped at the chance to make a profit. Houstonians charged an average $150 per night to “Airbnb” their home or apartment over Super Bowl week. Options ranged from a four-story townhome listed for $10,000 a night, to a pull-out couch in someone’s living room for $20 a night.

But some overestimated how much they could charge. With a flood of new Airbnb hosts, supply exceeded demand, forcing some hosts to start slashing their prices.

Still, it’s clear that there’s money to be made if you live near a football stadium.

If you’ve never been an Airbnb host and you have more questions about it, check out our guide to becoming an Airbnb host.

Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He once slept on somebody’s floor to attend a football game.