Miami Herald: South Florida residents rent homes for big games
Dec 29, 2009
The Miami Herald published this article on December 29, 2009
BY KIMBERLY MILLER
Palm Beach Post
When South Florida hosted the Super Bowl in 2007, the average hotel room cost $499 a night.
For the 2010 game, Davona Lynch would like everyone to know that her three-bedroom, two-bath home, 15 minutes from Land Shark Stadium, is available for a nightly rate of just $300.
Also — and this is her end run around traditional inns — pets are welcome.
Lynch is among many South Floridians hanging vacancy signs on their homes for the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, both of which will be played in Miami Gardens.
And while it’s not unusual for homeowners to become hoteliers during notable events, it may be more common this Super Bowl season, for several reasons.
More vacant homes are on the market following the real estate collapse. High unemployment has people looking for ways to make the mortgage. With pro football’s two premier events on consecutive weekends, more fans will want to stay the entire week to catch both games.
While Lynch acknowledges her Hollywood home is not brand new or outfitted with luxury amenities, she thinks it’s a good option for a family wanting access to a kitchen and laundry room, or a group of friends who just need a place to rest their heads. She has listed her home on Craigslist.
“We’re all trying to make ends meet, and sometimes to do that you have to think outside the box,” said Lynch, who will stay with relatives if she finds a renter. “If I don’t find anyone, I won’t be too disappointed. At least I made an effort to help myself during these difficult times.”
The Pro Bowl is expected to draw a large stadium audience because it’s the first time since 1979 that the game matching AFC and NFC all-stars will be played outside Hawaii. It will be played Jan. 31, a week before the Feb. 7 Super Bowl.
Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have an estimated 91,000 hotel rooms, more than enough to accommodate Super Bowl crowds.
Kathleen Davis, president of the West Palm Beach-based Sports Management Research Institute, which compiled the 2007 average hotel room cost, said she doesn’t think the availability of private homes for rent will affect Super Bowl hotel profits.
In fact, the demand for rooms may be greater this year because some people who don’t have tickets will want to revel in the atmosphere of the two-game event.
And football players’ families may be making the trek for both games, increasing the rental opportunities for high-end homes needed for an entourage.
“I never claim to know what will happen, but I think this is going to be a healthy bump for the whole market,” Davis said. “Whether they stay at a hotel or a private condo, they are still supporting local businesses.”
The variety of private residences available for rent during Super Bowl and Pro Bowl week ranges from Lynch’s $300-a-night home to a single Boca Raton bedroom for $500 a night to Earl Hord’s Pompano Beach home with steam room, grand piano and three-car garage for $15,000 a week.