MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Airbnb say it’s planning to double the size of its hosting community in the Twin Cities ahead of Super Bowl LII.

The short-term rental platform announced Thursday an initiative called Project 612, which the company describes as an effort to help the Twin Cities “take full economic advantage” when the NFL championship game heads to U.S. Bank Stadium.

Already, there are listings on the local home sharing network anticipating Super Bowl weekend next February. One listing for a Dinkytown loft is going for $6,000 a night. Other listings range from a $75-a-night bed for two in south Minneapolis to a $5,000-a-night loft in the North Loop.

While Airbnb says prices naturally spike for big events, hosts in Houston last weekend for Super Bowl LI didn’t typically charge more than $200 a night for a room, even if they were close to NRG Stadium. Even so, Houston saw a $6 million infusion into the local home sharing network, Airbnb says, adding that half of the hosts were using the platform for the first time.

While the company says it’s seeking a massive expansion of the local network in the Twin Cities, it would like hosts here to be familiar with home sharing ahead of the Super Bowl.

To meet this end, Airbnb says it will hold meetings with current and new hosts to share best practices.

Earning extra cash has never been so important to John and Kira Fieldstrom of Minneapolis. They just had a baby boy named Jack.

“Each month our goal is to earn up to $1,000,” John Fieldstrom said.

The couple rents the bottom unit of their Powderhorn duplex for $200 per night typically, but during Super Bowl week they’re planning to ask for up to $4,000 per night for their entire home, depending on demand.

“Our strategy will be to post a really high number and if no one has booked we can always lower it,” John Fieldstrom said.

The Twin Cities currently has about 1,000 people in its host community, with about 800 hosts in Minneapolis and 200 in St. Paul. Airbnb is seeking to double the total number of Twin Cities hosts, with a focus on neighborhoods that lack hotels.

The company says it’s also working with lawmakers to allow Airbnb to automatically collect and remit occupancy taxes on behalf of the hosts. Airbnb says it’s trying to keep as many visitors — “and their spending dollars” — within the city limits of Minneapolis and St. Paul as possible.

Comments (2)