Local homeowners trying to cash in on Super Bowl

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The approach of the 2012 Super Bowl has prompted some Indianapolis-area property owners to start scouting for a chance to lease their homes and condos for the big game.

Across the city, signs have begun to pop up, trying to attract residents to offer their homes for the Super Bowl, advertising the chance to fetch rent payments of up to $10,000 per day.

The signs were posted by Phoenix-based MajorEventRentalz.com, whose representatives say they’ve already signed up a few Indianapolis homeowners to plunk down the $595 flat fee to promote their homes on the website.

Local real estate brokers also say they’ve begun fielding inquiries from tenants in the downtown area hoping to capitalize on the massive crowds expected to flow into town for the February game.

The NFL estimates Indianapolis will draw between 100,000 and 150,000 visitors over a 10-day span for the Super Bowl, said Dianna Boyce, a spokeswoman for the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee.

Boyce said she doubts there will be a big market for rental housing because the city had to guarantee an ample number of hotel rooms as part of its bid for the game. About 18,300 rooms are being held, including 7,100 downtown rooms.

But real-estate experts say there will still be demand for other accommodations, including people who want a more private setting or more space. 

“With the amount of people – fans and corporate executives, as well as the sponsors – that scarcity factor is going to cause downtown property to just skyrocket,” said Dan Baldini, principal broker at Indianapolis-based Polaris Real Estate. “You’re going to see a lot of those properties getting snapped up and put under contract for the Super Bowl.”

Some downtown condos that Polaris manages, including units at Meridian Lofts and the Athletic Club, could go for $2,000 to $4,000 per night, Baldini said.

Neighborhoods close to the downtown center, such as Lockerbie Square, Chatham Arch and Fletcher Place, also will reap the spillover effect. So will luxurious single-family homes in the city’s outlying townships and suburbs, where companies entertaining clientele may choose to stay away from the hubbub, Baldini said.

Interest in renting has started to pick up recently as optimism about the Super Bowl actually taking place has increased..

NFL owners, players and their attorneys met in New York last week to discuss a general framework for a new collective bargaining agreement, and many sources close to the league expect a deal to be finalized this week that would allow the season to kick off on time.

The contentious negotiations in the lockout that started March 11 had some football insiders speculating that all or part of the 2011-12 season – including the Super Bowl in Indianapolis – would be cancelled.

Mike Smith, an advertising agent with MajorEventRentalz.com, said the company plans to capitalize on the renewed hope a game will take place.

The 15-person firm, which started in 2009 and advertises home rentals for other events, including the Kentucky Derby, the Masters Golf Tournament in Georgia and the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, began posting about 75 signs around Indianapolis about a month ago to get a feel for residents’ interest.

When a collective bargaining agreement is announced, Smith said, they will make a renewed advertising push, with additional signs and some direct mail pieces.

The company sends a photographer to homes of potential renters to create an online virtual tour. MajorEventRentlaz.com provides a standard contract for landlords and homeowners to use but doesn’t act as a middleman between owners and renters unless they request assistance, Smith said.

MajorEventRentlaz.com was one of a handful of companies that appealed to potential home renters at this year’s Super Bowl in North Texas. Several Dallas-area homeowners advertised their homes for rent during the event, with some asking as much as $15,000 per night, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Baldini said it’s hard to determine what the maximum asking price in Indianapolis will be, in part because the dynamics of the event aren't typical of those of most Super Bowls, with the activities concentrated in the downtown area in a cold-weather city.

Those factors could make proximity to the action more in-demand in Indianapolis than in previous Super Bowl cities such as Dallas and Miami.

“It’s jockeying for a position,” Baldini said. “If you own a property downtown, you’re all of a sudden going to have more friends than you ever knew you had.”

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