Ann Arbor, Michigan – The upcoming football game between the University of Michigan and Ohio State University has sparked a boom in Airbnb rentals and hotel reservations.
The game, which will be held in Ann Arbor, will see UM and OSU face off at noon on November 27. The last time the two teams played against each other was on November 30, 2019, in Ann Arbor. The 2020 match has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The local game sparked an influx of hotel and Airbnb bookings, as searches for accommodations in Ann Arbor jumped more than 210% from August to September, according to Airbnb. Nearly 20 percent of incoming guests this coming weekend are from Ohio.
“The return of large events will bring meaningful economic benefits to Ann Arbor hosts and the greater community, including the small businesses that hosts recommend to their guests,” an Airbnb spokesperson said in a statement about the rise. “New hosts on Airbnb since the pandemic began have generated $6 billion in income, and the typical Airbnb host earns $9,600.”
Previous years have seen local Airbnb hosts earn more than $1 million over a weekend at UM-OSU.
Airbnb-type rentals have been a disputed issue in Ann Arbor. The city council voted to ban short-term rental properties such as non-owner Airbnb homes in September 2020, but the council eventually approved exceptions for existing short-term rentals, allowing them to continue to operate.
Read more: Ann Arbor agrees to exceptions for Airbnb homes in hopes of avoiding contention in lawsuits
Local hotels have also seen a string of bookings in recent months.
“We always sell out on weekends at OSU,” Michael Weber, Vice President of Weber’s Hotel and Restaurant, said in an email to MLive.
Weber’s Hotel, located at 3050 Jackson Road in Ann Arbor, is fully booked for the upcoming weekend by July 2021, a slight delay through the 2019 weekend, which was booked by February of that year, according to Weber’s Hotel manager Carolyn Crowley.
Crowley said many people waited to see what the COVID-19 restrictions looked like before booking.
“With restrictions lifted and UM announcing that fans would be allowed into the stadium, we started getting guests to make reservations and a lot of them were looking to get back to something normal they did in the past, like U of M football,” Crowley wrote in an email to MLive.
The Graduate Hotel, located at 615 East Huron Street in Ann Arbor, is also booked in advance, according to Jason Nelson, district general manager for Ann Arbor Graduate and East Lansing graduate.
Nelson said the hotel is currently fully booked. The data isn’t yet available for Graduate Homes, the company’s Airbnb-style accommodations.
“Due to high demand and excitement around the competition, we usually book months in advance,” Nelson wrote in an email to MLive. “Following the cancellation of last year’s game, we look forward to welcoming the fans back to Graduate Ann Arbor this year.”
Read more Ann Arbor news:
UM-OSU: How the Buckeyes and Wolverines stack up off the football field
From diner to hotel and restaurant, Weber’s celebrates more than 80 years in business
Game day visitors focus on a new short-term rental company in Ann Arbor