The good news: Affordable rooms for Super Bowl 2016 are still available. The bad news is that probably won't be the case for too long.
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Hotel owners in San Francisco are cashing in big for Super Bowl 2016. A recent survey conducted by CheapHotels.org found that they are raising their rates substantially for the big game.
Although Levi's® Stadium in Santa Clara, where Super Bowl 50 will be played on February 7, 2016, is located around 40 miles southeast of San Francisco, almost 60% of hotels in the City by the Bay are already sold out.
The reason for this high sellout rate is that only a very limited number of rooms exist around the stadium. Vacancies in nearby San Jose and the Palo Alto area can still be found but they are over 300% more expensive than usual.
In San Francisco, the hotels still offering availability are increasing their rates by a more moderate 124%, on average, according to the survey. But some are hiking their prices by a lot more.
One example is the Monarch Hotel, a budget accommodation located in San Francisco's theater district. During the Super Bowl timeframe, this establishment is charging $649 nightly for a standard room. That represents an increase of 335% over its usual price.
The biggest price gouger, however, is Andrews Hotel. This three-star accommodation, which is located two blocks from Union Square, is charging an overnight rate of $889 for a standard double room during the Super Bowl. That's almost 400% more than usual.
On the positive front, decent three-star rooms in downtown San Francisco can still be found for less than $200 per night. But football fans who are planning to stay in San Francisco on February 7 should book their hotel now, recommends Sandra Newens from CheapHotels.org.
It is expected that hotels will be selling steadily until the end of the year. Depending on the teams that qualify for the Super Bowl, we expect that overnight guests will have to spend at least $300 to $400 for a room in San Francisco if they book short term. ■