Hotels, Sport|

Super Bowl Boosts Hotel Sales

Super Bowl XLVI LogoThis Sunday night, virtually everyone in the US will stop for about four hours to celebrate an unofficial holiday – the Super Bowl. Indianapolis will be hosting the NFL championship for the first time, and tens of thousands of football fans will visit the city to watch it firsthand – whether or not they are pulling for the Patriots or Giants.

Because of Indianapolis hosting Super Bowl XLVI (or 46), hoteliers have gotten a boost in bookings, with 91.3% of the region’s rooms already booked, according to TravelClick. The intelligence firm also reveals data showing that hotel rates are up 199.6%, compared to the same time last year. STR has shown a 26% occupancy rate for Indianapolis hotels on February 6 with revenue per available room (RevPAR) at $16.14 and average day rates at $62.14.

TravelClick executive vice president of business intelligence Tim Hart says that the Super Bowl is most likely affecting more than just Indianapolis this year. This is because Indianapolis is smaller than previous hosting cities. There’s no availability in quite a large perimeter around the towns in the city, and many of the rooms that are open are selling at very high prices clearly related to the event. While many hoteliers raise their rates for the weekend early, some blocked out availability to start with and opened it again as the event approached so they could raise rates even more, he added.

When the initial bid to host this year’s Super Bowl was contracted four years ago, 90% of the hotel rooms within a 30-miles radius were included. Room rates for those were determined when the contract was signed as well. Good Hospitality Services president Jeff Good says that much of the bid from a community to host the Super Bowl is all of the rooms they can get. They committed to their rates four years ago. The NFL takes the rooms to resell them to corporate partners and sponsors, leaving hotels with few rooms to sell at their rates, he added.

Good Hospitality Services manages 13 properties in Indiana, and its Homewood Suites by Hilton Indianapolis Northwest only had eight rooms left to sell at its own prices. Good says that the rooms left are being sold at very high rates by online travel agencies due to the lack of supply. He expects business be as usual at select-service hotels in Indianapolis, but full-service properties should anticipate challenges – food-and-beverage services and handling crowds.

Indianapolis Marriott Downtown general manager Phil Ray says the main concern for them is understanding how to deal with large crowds. The hotel is going to be the headquarters for the New York Giants. Unlike other host cities in the past, Indianapolis’s downtown area is very compact. They brought in a handful of task force staff from other properties to ensure all the details come together this week. The Marriott has also staffed more security to make sure the players, coaches and team staff are properly secured; and to ensure nothing unusual happens.

It’s expected that 150,000 people will be visiting Indianapolis, which will also bring a little chaos for the thousands who live, study and work in the city. Competition for parking is certain to be seen in the downtown area, and some businesses predict this will deter their most reliable customers. A few businesses, however, are seeing this an opportunity for business.




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