Nashville hotels, Airbnbs near full-capacity for NFL Draft

Posted at 5:45 PM, Apr 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 11:35:10-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The NFL Draft will fill Nashville with NFL officials, members of the media, and fans from all around the world. Those people will then fill the city’s hotel rooms and short-term rental properties, bringing plenty of revenue to the city.

Beyond the revenue, the NFL Draft will bring exposure to Nashville, which will help the tourism industry for years to come.

“It’s a national international spectacle. The world’s cameras and lights are going to be on Nashville,” Eric Opron, managing director for the Omni Nashville, said. “What a great opportunity to showcase what the city is all about.”

Opron said that the Omni booked up about 7 weeks prior to the Draft, and while they sell out numerous times during the year, the exposure and new guests they’ll gain will likely help them in the future.

“We always say the hardest part is to get somebody here the first time, and then once they come here, they kind of get it. They get the feel, they feel the service, they feel the environment, and then they want to come back again and again, so getting them here once maybe for this draft could be the thing that gets them to come and return to us for many years to come.”

With so many hotel rooms filled up, and with the prices at many hotels more expensive that normal because of the demand, Airbnbs are expected to see a record amount of guests during the NFL Draft.

“Even with all of the new hotels that we have, there’s still a shortage of beds,” Alece Ronzino, board member for the Nashville Area Short Term Rental Association, said.

According to Airbnb, 21,000 guests are expected to stay at Airbnbs during the duration of the NFL Draft, breaking a record for Nashville.

Ronzino said while that is good for those renting out locations to visitors, it’s also good for the city as a whole.

“The 21,000 people that are coming and staying in Airbnbs, that’s all tax revenue for our city as well,” Ronzino explained, adding that those tax dollars go directly toward affordable housing in the city.