How to make money on Houston's Super Bowl

HOUSTON – Super Bowl -- it's the biggest game in sports. And next year, it comes to Houston.

With hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, all for the taking.

“There's no place like Houston for a great party, and certainly, football is religion here,” said Sallie Sargent, the CEO and president of the Houston Super Bowl Committee.

“Back in 2013, New Orleans cited about $480 million of economic impact, so certainly it's a great win for the city (of Houston).”

Brothers Jose Marante and George Serrano want a piece of that pie. They own a food truck, the Cuban Spot, and are serving up Cuban food with Texas flair.

“Our Cuban sandwich, everyone is saying it's the best in Houston," Marante said. "The fritas, which are a Cuban burger, are one of a kind here in Houston. Nobody's doing anything like that.”

And they have a little experience turning football food cravings into cash. During the Texans playoff game this past season, they rolled up to a sports bar and the money rolled in.

“Since we've been opened, that was the highest sales of any day," Marante said. "We completely blew it off the map. Next year we're actually planning on doing our own event."

It will cost vendors about $1,000 to register a new food truck with the city. But people don't have to start a new business to bring in the Super Bowl benefits.

Another way Houstonians are cashing in happens to be right in their own homes. Some stand to make thousands by renting a room, or their entire home, to out-of-town fans in town for the big game.

Mary Moore is banking on great views and a great location to attract out-of-towners to her Montrose-area home. The home boasts a wraparound porch and rooftop deck.

“We are central to everything anyone would want to do,” Moore said. “We're five minutes away from downtown. At the longest it would take you 15 or maybe 20 minutes to get to NRG, and we're so close to the museum district.”

She said she's planning to list it on home sharing website www.Airbnb.com. The rate for her four-bedroom home will be $3,500 a night.

She said she's hoping to score big like her daughter, who made $5,000 renting out her home in 2004 to record label executives from Nashville.

“It's a fabulous space, and if I can offer it to someone during the Super Bowl, I would love to do that,” Moore said.

Maybe even one of the players. This year, Carolina Panther Roman Harper rented a four-bedroom home near San Francisco for his whole family.

“The opportunity to have all my whole family in one place, you just don't have that in a hotel room,” said Harper of why he decided to use a home-sharing rental over a traditional hotel.

And hotel rooms in Houston are going to be hard to find.

When KPRC 2 News checked, most rooms are already booked for the week around next year's Super Bowl.

Betty Bezemer of Keller Williams Memorial said that gives homeowners willing to rent a great chance to make some quick cash.

“Depending on the bedrooms and if it's fully furnished and that they are going to leave the property, it could be anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000,” Bezemer said. “In order to be involved in the activities and the energy and to have the Super Bowl experience, you are going to be downtown.”

Bezemer said homes in the Inner Loop, the Heights, Montrose and even the east side of Downtown will get the most per night, but anyone who lists their home stands to make money.

Bezemer strongly suggests that those who are planning to rent a home out, consider listing with a licensed realtor or a site like Airbnb, which allows you to collect a security deposit, and comes with an insurance policy. She warns homeowners against listing on Craigslist. She also said those who live in a townhome or condo to be sure to speak with an HOA to make sure what the rules are about subletting the property.

Sargent said the Houston Super Bowl Committee team is gearing up for a fantastic road to Super Bowl LI.

“I have never really experienced a city and a community like the Houston area," she said. "The enthusiasm and the engagement since the day we were awarded the game has just been incredible."

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