ANN ARBOR, MI – The upcoming University of Michigan and Ohio State University soccer game has sparked a surge in Airbnb rentals and hotel bookings.
The game, which will be played in Ann Arbor, will be played by UM and OSU on November 27th at 12 noon. The last time the teams played against each other was on November 30th, 2019 in Ann Arbor. The 2020 game was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The home game sparked an influx of hotel and Airbnb bookings, according to Airbnb, with searches for stays in Ann Arbor increasing more than 210% from August through September. Almost 20 percent of guest arrivals for the coming weekend come from Ohio.
“The return of major events will bring significant economic benefits to Ann Arbor hosts and the wider community, including the small businesses that recommend hosts to their guests,” an Airbnb spokesman said in a statement on the rise. “New hosts on Airbnb since the pandemic started have earned $ 6 billion, and the typical Airbnb host makes $ 9,600.”
In the past few years, Airbnb local hosts have made more than $ 1 million on UM-OSU game day weekend.
Airbnb-like rentals have been a controversial issue in Ann Arbor. The city council voted in September 2020 to ban dedicated short-term rentals such as Airbnb homes that are not being used, but the city council eventually approved exemptions for existing short-term rentals to allow them to continue to operate.
Local hotels have also seen a litany of bookings in recent months.
“We’re always sold out on the OSU weekend,” said Michael Weber, Vice President of Weber’s Hotel and Restaurant, in an email to MLive.
Weber’s hotel at 3050 Jackson Road in Ann Arbor was fully booked for the coming weekend through July 2021, a slight delay compared to the 2019 matchday weekend, which, according to Weber’s hotel manager Carolyn Crowley, was fully booked until February of this year.
Crowley said a lot of people waited to see what the COVID-19 restrictions were like before booking.
“When the restrictions were lifted and UM announced that fans would be allowed to enter the stadium, we started getting guests to make reservations and so many of them looked forward to getting back to something normal that they had done in the past, like U of M soccer, ”Crowley said in an email to MLive.
The Graduate Hotel at 615 East Huron Street in Ann Arbor was also booked well in advance, according to Jason Nelson, Area General Manager for Graduate Ann Arbor and Graduate East Lansing.
The hotel is currently fully booked, said Nelson. Data is not yet available for Graduate Homes, the company’s Airbnb-like stays.
“Due to the high demand and excitement surrounding the rivalry, we usually book out months in advance,” Nelson wrote in an email to MLive. “After the game was canceled last year, we’re excited to see the fans back at Graduate Ann Arbor this year.”
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