Sporting Events and Short-Term Rentals: The UEFA Champions League Final in Madrid

From the Olympic Games to the Superbowl, sporting events have a major impact on the tourism industry. Sporting events generate additional demand during regular tourist season: they increase occupancy rates in hotels and short-term rentals. Additionally, it may encourage regular visitors to extend their stay in order to attend an event which they may not have originally planned to see. 

The demand for short-term rentals is increasing as people look for a more intimate stay. One-off events have a major impact on the supply and demand for short-term rentals, and DMOs and local governments must understand the effects this has on the tourism sector. 

Sporting events can be a catalyst of city development and social capital. The primary reason for investing in hosting a sporting event is the economic benefits. Local governments must be responsible for the transport, infrastructure, tourism and security during the event, whilst also ensuring direct economic benefits. For DMOs, they draw significant marketing benefits: they create awareness of the destination and attract tourism in the short-term and generate future travel. 

The UEFA Champions League Final, Madrid, 2019

The Champions League Final, which decides the best football team in Europe, is a highlight of the majority of football fan’s year. The 2019 Final took place in Madrid on Saturday 1 June at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium

 Photograph: Rodrigo Jimenez/EPA

Access to short-term rental data was essential for Madrid when they prepared for the event. There were almost 4,500 new short-term rentals listed the month before the Final took place (May 2019), many of which were located near the Wanda Metropolitano stadium (an area that is usually not so popular amongst tourists). 

This graph shows the number of new short-term rental properties advertised in Madrid (May 2019) in comparison with the previous months (January-April 2019). 

Although there are endless potential benefits, a sporting event must be meticulously planned to guarantee its efficient and successful delivery. DMOs and local governments must crunch the numbers, understanding exactly how many tourists will be inundating a city and where they are going to go. In order to do this, they need data!

Sporting events test the ability to govern a city. Madrid anticipated the high number of tourists and increased the frequency of trains and buses to the city centre, ensuring that there was a steady flow of tourists throughout the city and preventing overcrowding.

Sporting events are a strategic marketing tool for DMOs. Two Fan Zones (one for each team) were set-up close to the Wanda stadium, concentrating a large percentage of fans in certain areas and preventing them from dispersing across the city, whilst also providing them with an atmospheric experience where they could show their support for their respective football team. During the days leading up to the final, the official UEFA Champions League Festival was organised. This festival was an excellent effort to brand the event, hosting many activities across the city.

Madrid’s success during the Final could be down to their analysis of tourist data. They were able to avoid overcrowding and predict and monitor the flow of tourists throughout Madrid. 

The UEFA Champions League Final in Madrid demonstrates that access to tourist data is crucial. Short-term rentals make up 25% of the tourist industry, and so analysis of short-term rental data is an essential part of this analysis.

Transparent provides DMOs and local authorities with the necessary data to understand and anticipate the evolution of tourist demand, giving insight on market conditions such as supply growth, demand patterns, average daily rates and occupancy. This empowers DMOs and local authorities to successfully monitor the supply and demand of the short-term rental market during large events.

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