Super Bowl shock: San Francisco hotel prices soar

Super Bowl 2016 Santa Clara Levi's Stadium

A room at San Francisco’s new Hotel Zephyr runs $999 per night during Super Bowl
Hotel rates can vary wildly based on demand. But have you ever heard of 400% increases? 
Last week TravelSkills took a look at 4-5 star hotel rates in the Bay Area over Super Bowl weekend (February 7, 2016) and compared them to rates in late August of this year.

Wow. What a difference!

Here’s what we found out:
During Super Bowl weekend, most big brand hotels are already sold out and are not even quoting rates. For example, all Marriott, Hilton and IHG hotels in San Francisco are sold and not accepting reservations.

Related: San Francisco hotels NOT most expensive after all
You can still stay at these hotels if you want, but you’ll have to be well-connected or buy a shockingly pricey package to do so.

Typically, big hotels are bought out by large corporate sponsors, or sold off in blocks to travel travel agents that package air, hotel, transfers, parties and of course, game tickets.

Here’s an example of what a fan would pay for four nights at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, plus Super Bowl tickets, transfers, and parties, but not airfare (from the PrimeSport website):

Tickets (alone) to the game typically run at about $3,000 each, and those aren’t even the good seats.
Anyway, back to hotels…

Those few hotels that are offering rates on or around Super Bowl weekend require that guests book and pay for a minimum of three nights or four nights. And their rates are up nearly 500% compared to what travelers are paying this summer.

Some examples: (Please note that these rates are based on spot checks made in mid-July and are subject to change)

The Best Western Tuscan Inn in Fisherman’s Wharf will set you back $999 on Super Bowl weekend (Photo: Best Western)
Best Western Plus, The Tuscan UP 146%
Superbowl weekend rate: $999/night
Aug 27-31: $406.50/night
Minimum 4 nights stay required
 
Hotel Zephyr UP 285%
Superbowl Weekend rate: $999/night
Aug 27-31: adv. Purchase $259/night Standard rate $509/night
Possible minimum stay requirement of 3 nights – Booking representative was unsure.
 
The Orchard Garden Hotel UP 540%
Superbowl weekend: $1,800/night
Aug 27-31: $281/night
Minimum stay requirement of 4 nights
 
Near the Airport:

A room like this at the Four Points by Sheraton at SFO is going for $1,190 per night
Four Points by Sheraton SFO UP 474%
Superbowl Weekend Rate: $1,190/night
Aug 27-31: $207/night

A room at the conveniently located Aloft SFO is going for $1,139 per night during Super Bowl weekend

Aloft SFO UP 432%
Superbowl Weekend Rate: $1,139/night
Aug 27-31: $214/night
No minimum stay requirement

The Westin SFO UP 467%
Superbowl weekend: $1242/night
Aug 27-31: $219/night
No minimum stay requirements

Doubletree by Hilton SFO UP 170%
Superbowl weekend: $699/night
Aug 27-31: $259/night
No minimum stay requirement but full prepayment required for Superbowl weekend with no refund for cancellation at any time.

East Bay:

A room at the Pleasanton Marriott is about $500 per night
Pleasanton Marriott UP 248%
Superbowl weekend: $449/night
Aug 27-31: $129/night
No minimum stay requirement

A search on Kayak.com turned up a few smaller, lesser-known hotels with nightly rates over Super Bowl weekend in the $500 per night range, and I bet those will be snapped up pretty quickly.

San Francisco expects that nearly a million visitors from near and far will visit the city around the Super Bowl, but only 70,000 will actually see the game. A special Super Bowl City attraction will be set up on the Embarcadero in the large plaza in front of the Ferry Building.