(WIVB) – Baltimore fans are flocking to Buffalo for Sunday’s Bills vs. Ravens game.
About 1,300 Airbnb guests are expected to rent space in Orchard Park and Buffalo this weekend- many of them for the game.
The top city where they’re coming from is Baltimore, Liz DeBold Fusco, the Northeast Press Secretary for Airbnb said.
It’s a busy weekend for Airbnb rentals- this same weekend in 2018, there were only about 830 Airbnb guests in the Buffalo area.
“Obviously we always see quite an uptick in guest arrivals around Bills games, but this is a pretty noticeable pickup from last year,” Fusco said.
Last year around this time, the 4-8 Bills were taking on the Jets. This Sunday, the Bills- 9-3 for the season- are taking on the 10-2 Ravens.
READ MORE | Bills prepare to take on #1 seed Ravens
“I think generally when we’re looking at Airbnbs over the weekend, there’s always a correlation between fandoms,” Fusco said. “Buffalo has quite a famous and really passionate fandom, so we see that they travel to other cities to see their team play when they’re away, and when they’re home they want to help welcome in people who are coming to take in the game and take in Buffalo along with it.”
John Denecke is an Airbnb host who has been renting out the upstairs of his Peter Street home for two and a half years.
He says that he’s had plenty of guests coming for Bills games this year, including a Patriots fan from Colombia and fans from Virginia up for the Washington Redskins game. He’ll host a couple from Ottawa this weekend for the game.
Denecke has a map of the world on the wall, with pins marking where guests come from.
“I’ve had over 300 guests and only one bad one so far,” Denecke said. “I’ve met people from all over the world, one nicer than the next.”
Last weekend was also a busy one for Airbnb rentals in Western New York, with about 1,200 Airbnb guests checking in over Thanksgiving weekend.
This weekend, local hosts will make $173,000 from sharing their homes on Airbnb.
About 84 percent of Airbnb hosts refer their guests to local businesses for food, drinks and other activities, Busco said.
“In New York State, in 2019, we are expecting well over $600 million in economic activity generated by Airbnb guests,” she added.
Denecke, who was born and raised in Buffalo, said he prides himself on being an amateur “docent” of Buffalo for his guests.
He says that in addition to the Bills, a big draw to Buffalo has been the buzz the Queen City has been generating lately.
“We’ve been on an upswing for about 15 years, and I think that people are starting to realize how many things there are to do in Buffalo and how much fun it can be,” Denecke said.
Last year, Bills fans helped to pull a Ravens’ fan’s truck out of the mud after a game in Baltimore. READ MORE