According to a Kayak.com search Monday afternoon, the closest hotel to U.S. Bank Field in Minneapolis with availability on Super Bowl weekend is a Days Inn in St. Paul about five miles from the stadium. TripAdvisor.com ranks it as No. 14 out of 16 St. Paul hotels, with user-submitted reviews mentioning a host of unsavory activities and a permanently closed restaurant.
Visit this particular Days Inn for a Friday-to-Monday stay one week later, and a room will run you $72 per night. But the price for lodging skyrockets with demand over Super Bowl weekend, even for a hotel that reviews suggest could be a little dicey. According to multiple Internet searches, a room from Friday to Monday of Super Bowl weekend at this particular establishment — which one reviewer described as “kind of stinky” — will cost a mere $899 per night.
Super Bowl hotel prices are going to be extreme no matter who’s hosting the game, but the problem is exacerbated by a Twin Cities area that isn’t exactly swimming in hotel rooms. According to a September 2016 story in the Star Tribune, the area was expected to have just north of 40,000 hotel rooms once six new hotels were completed in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Compare that with Houston, which hosted last year’s Super Bowl and has around 85,000 hotel rooms, according to a 2016 USA Today story. The average price of a room there on Super Bowl weekend ran $272, MPR News reported last week. It’ll likely be higher in the Twin Cities this year.
The area’s comparatively tiny hotel market gets even smaller when you consider that the NFL began reserving 19,000 hotel rooms not long after the league awarded the Super Bowl to Minneapolis in 2014, many of them in the downtown hotels closest to the stadium. According to KSTP-TV, there are fewer than 10,000 rooms in the downtown area itself. Do the math.
“The inn is full. We are completely sold out. The NFL bought the whole hotel out,” Kim Zoulek, sales and marketing director for Minneapolis Hilton, told MPR News last week. The hotel is the largest in Minnesota with 821 rooms and is located about a mile from U.S. Bank Field.
Even the travel packages being offered by PrimeSport — which is owned by a ticket and hospitality company that itself is partially owned by the NFL’s owners — aren’t offering much in the way of close lodging. Of the five hotel/ticket packages available Monday afternoon, only one offers lodging at a hotel within walking distance of the stadium. The package costs around $25,000 for two people and doesn’t include airfare. Cheaper options are available, but you’ll be staying in places such as Bloomington, St. Paul or the far northern reaches of Minneapolis, about a 25-minute drive from the stadium.
Airbnb isn’t much better. According to AirbnbWatch, Twin Cities listings on the home-sharing site that usually would fetch between $50 to $100 per night are going for 10 times that price over Super Bowl weekend, oftentimes more. Of course, AirbnbWatch was created by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, whose members would much rather you stay in one of their hotels. But on Super Bowl weekend, both routes are going to cost you plenty, especially now that the hometown Vikings are out of the picture.
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