THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON REALTOR.
Super Bowls are far more than just epic sporting events. They’re also unrivaled career makers (perma-MVP quarterback Tom Brady!) and breakers (sorry, nip-slip victim Janet Jackson). They launch ad campaigns into terrifying global ubiquity (Wassup!). They prompt the consumption of millions of pizzas, billions of chicken wings, and untold gallons of ranch dip.
But what’s the true worth of the Super Bowl for the metro hosting the extravaganza? NFL officials like to brag that their little gridiron contest brings in hundreds of millions in local tourism and retail business. It’s akin to a weeklong, megabudget city commercial, complete with swooping aerial shots and tons of celebrity cameos. But does any of that commerce and national attention translate into higher long-term housing sales?
When the first-down marker dust finally settles, what is the true real estate Super Bowl bump each year?
Experts debate the impact. “There’s no doubt you can rent your apartment for a nice chunk of change for one weekend [for the Super Bowl],” says Victor Matheson, a professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, who studies the economic impact of sporting events. “But is that enough to move real estate prices?”
The clutch realtor.com® data team took the field to find out. We focused on the locations of the last five Super Bowls (XLVII through LI, for those of you keeping track at home). To gauge buyer interest, we compared how many people viewed realtor.com home listings in the host metros, from the month prior to the game to the month it was played. We analyzed the number of new home listings, comparing the total number of listings in the November and December prior to the game to January and February (the month of the game). Finally, we looked at the number of home sales and the median list price changes in the 12 months following the big game.
Turns out, near the downtowns and stadiums, there’s a lot of action—and we’re not talking about tailgating. Every city we examined experienced at least a 50% jump in the number of new home listings near the stadium leading up to the Super Bowl. But the longer-term impact varied widely, favoring lower-tier places like New Orleans and Glendale, AZ, which have attractive markets for second (or third) homes. There was way less of an effect on the already skyrocketing markets in New York and Silicon Valley.
So let’s take a slant route down memory lane to check out recent Super Bowls. Some were spectacular, some were Super Snores™. But all had an impact on local housing.
Even before U.S. Bank Stadium opened in 2016, the neighborhood around the stadium, referred to as East Town, was being flooded with new development.
Just about everyone in this resurgent town was wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ for their beloved Vikings to make history this year, as the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. Alas, the Vikes were vanquished by the Philadelphia Eagles, who will now do their best to unseat the scarily robotic New England Patriots in this year’s showdown. Regardless of local disappointment, the Minneapolis rental and hotel industry is getting a big boost. All those Eagles fans and No. 12 jersey owners need a place to stay, after all, and plenty are shelling out big. Take this swanky mansion, listed for $10,000 per night on Airbnb.
“I live fairly close to the stadium, so I’ve raised my prices for that room seven times higher,” says Kevin Han, a Minneapolis-based lawyer. He normally rents a room in his home on Airbnb for $50 per night, but listed it for $350 per night the weekend of the Super Bowl, with a three-night minimum.
Minneapolis isn’t really a vacation destination, though, so home sellers aren’t expecting to net many buyers from out of town. Local real estate agents say sellers aren’t sure if they should list before the Super Bowl, and perhaps wait until things die down to list.
Minneapolis worked hard to get the Super Bowl, erecting a new $975 million stadium. But will it have a lasting impact? “A Super Bowl in Minneapolis is almost certainly a one-off event,” Matheson believes. “A Super Bowl isn’t ultimately going to move the market very much.”
During the NFC Championships, when the Minnesota Vikings played, real estate broker Geoff Bray held an open house that was attended by only four people. About 50 had come through the previous day.
If the Vikings had beat the Eagles to make it to the Big Show, “the entire state would have shut down to celebrate,” says Bray, of Engel & Völkers Minneapolis. “That weekend would have been devastatingly slow for real estate.”
2017: Houston, TX
Current median home price in stadium’s ZIP code: $150,000
Percentage change since the Super Bowl: -18%
Houston experienced tragedy in 2017, when Hurricane Ike cut a swath through the city in October. On an infinitely less consequential note, it saw a different kind of disaster earlier in the year, when the Super Bowl was played 6 miles south of downtown, at NRG Stadium, home to the Houston Texans.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan got the nickname “Matty Ice” for his tendency to pull out wins at the end of games. But after getting out to a 28-to-3 lead over the New England Patriots, he melted into an oily puddle in the fourth quarter, and the game finished with Pats QB Tom Brady holding up his fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy.
But there was nothing frozen about Houston’s housing market at first. In January and February 2017, the number of home listings in the metro area jumped 30%, including a 52% jump in the ZIP code that is home to NRG Stadium, where the game was held. In fact, four of the five ZIP codes in Houston that saw the biggest new listing increases were within 8 miles of the Super Bowl venue.
Although the number of home sales actually wound up dropping for the year—thanks to the hurricane and its aftermath—condos attracted more interest. In the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, there were out-of-town buyers purchasing $100,000 to $200,000 condos in cash, according to real estate broker Brooks Ballard of Engel & Völkers. They were convinced it was more cost-effective to buy than to pay $10,000 for a weeklong rental. Some of those buyers turned around to resell, and others are hanging on to the property as an investment.
Airbnb reported a big jump in rentals leading up to the Super Bowl. In fact, 50% of Airbnb listings in Houston were from first-time Airbnb hosts.
“Houston saw a dramatic increase in the demand for luxury rentals in the lead-up to last year’s Super Bowl,” says Allen Shayanfekr, CEO and co-founder of Sharestates, a New York-based real estate investment business.