AirbnbWATCH, a consumer watchdog group, released a report today showing significant price gouging by Airbnb hosts in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for rentals during Super Bowl weekend in the host city for this year's NFL championship game.
The report reveals nightly rates for many Airbnb rentals increasing by thousands of dollars per night stay. One two-bedroom apartment in downtown Minneapolis, which normally rents for $75 per night, is advertising a $5,000 per night rate for Super Bowl weekend. A typical three-night stay at this apartment would cost a total of $311 but the same length of stay during Super Bowl weekend would cost more than $15,000.
"Airbnb's price gouging is a dream killer for many football fans hoping to go to the game or other Super Bowl events in Minneapolis," stated Lauren Windsor, AirbnbWATCH spokesperson. "Permitting their hosts to raise rent by these astronomical rates, Airbnb will also hurt Minneapolis small businesses and vendors as visitors will have less disposable income to spend while in the city for Super Bowl weekend."
In a San Diego Union-Tribune article, Chris Lehane, Airbnb's Head of Global Policy and Public Affairs, was quoted saying, "It's pretty clear that our hosts don't engage in gouging. When demand for Airbnb increases, supply also tends to increase. When you look at big events, like for a Super Bowl weekend, there's maybe a $20 increase."
Windsor points out the report showcasing Airbnb hosts gouging guests at this year's Super Bowl tells a different story.
"The documented facts in this report speak for themselves in exposing Airbnb's hypocrisy," stated Windsor. "Given the findings of this report, Airbnb's credibility has been sacked and should consider punting the outrageous price gouging off their site."
The Super Bowl is scheduled to be played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on February 4, 2018.