Airbnb’s Super Impact on Houston: Super Bowl 51

Airbnb is a company that was built on big events. In 2007, Airbnb co-founders Brian and Joe noticed all the hotels in San Francisco were booked solid during a design conference. They grabbed a few air mattresses, built a website and promised a home-cooked breakfast for their guests. When they opened their homes to Michael, Kat, and Amol that weekend, the Airbnb community was born.

Today, Airbnb has grown into a people-to-people platform that connects hosts and guests around the world. To date, there have been more than 150 million guest arrivals in more than 3 million listings around the world. As a result, the Airbnb community is uniquely positioned to help cities use existing spaces to scale accommodations for big events, from the Rio Olympics to the Presidential Inauguration and now Super Bowl 51.

This report outlines the positive economic impact the Airbnb community will have during Super Bowl 51, and illustrates how Airbnb can help cities play host to big events.

Summary of key findings

  • Airbnb provides cities with a dynamic supply of accommodations that helps during major events. 50% of Houston hosts hosted for the first time during the Super Bowl, significantly increasing the lodging capacity in the Houston area. There were more than 8,200 guest arrivals in Houston during the event.
  • Airbnb offered an affordable way to visit Texas for the Super Bowl. For reservations spanning the event, the typical price of booked listings was $150 per night. For listings within a five mile radius of NRG Stadium, the typical price was $200 per night. These rates were especially reasonable when compared with some current hotel rates.
  • While hotel options are limited and prices high, Airbnb remained a reasonable option, with only 15 percent of listings and bookings priced higher than 4 weeks prior. For booked listings, the typical price increase was about $55.
  • Airbnb guests generated roughly $6.4 million in economic activity in the Houston area during the week of the Super Bowl, including more than $4 million in host income.
  • Saturday and Super Bowl Sunday were the two biggest nights ever for Airbnb guest arrivals in the Houston area. During these days, the Houston area saw a 140% increase in guest arrivals over a typical same-day period.
  • There were guest arrivals from more than 900 cities around the world, including 700 cities from all 50 states.
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