Driving on Super Bowl Weekend in LA – How Did I Do?

Driving during Super Bowl weekend can either be very lucrative or a huge headache. Senior RSG contributor Sergio Avedian happens to live near where Super Bowl LVI was hosted, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA, and he decided to drive during the busy weekend to see what kind of earnings he could achieve.

Was Sergio’s decision to drive during Super Bowl 2022, typically one of the most lucrative days to drive, a major bust or a big win? Keep reading below to see the goals Sergio set for himself and the strategies he implemented. 

Back in 2016-2017, I was a full-time rideshare driver, bringing in $2500-3000 a week regularly. The money was great for flexible work, but the cuts by Uber/Lyft in a race to the bottom have taken a severe toll on my earning potential. Today’s base rates of 60/21 cents for Uber and 80/12 cents for Lyft do not leave much room to be a profitable driver.

The past few months as a part-time weekend warrior, I have seen the good (August-December 2021), the bad, and the ugly (before the holidays-now). From making as much money as 2017 in August-December 2021, my income has dropped to what it was just before the pandemic – back to PEANUTS!

Wondering why earnings are back to peanuts? Make sure to check out one of my recent articles about Uber and Lyft flooding the marketplace.

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Once in a while, all the stars line up for us rideshare drivers. One of these occasions was just this past weekend. The Super Bowl was taking place in my city of Los Angeles, and the LA Rams were in the big game.

Additionally, Valentine’s Day was on Monday, February 14th. Since it fell on a workday, most people would be going out to celebrate the occasion on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

I decided to go out and drive more than I have the last few months, and I considered possibly putting in a full shift depending on Uber and Lyft showing me the money via incentives. I had a strategy in mind! Was I able to put it into action?

Super Bowl Incentives Start to Roll In

On Friday, offers from Uber and Lyft began to trickle in. Uber was leading the charge and Lyft followed.

I am not the type of driver to get stuck in traffic for hours to catch an Uber or Lyft bonus of $10-20, as shown below. I rather stay away from the event venue and shuffle riders from Super Bowl parties taking place all over town or take advantage of the surge in surrounding neighborhoods.

My Strategy and Goals for the Super Bowl Weekend

Even when I drive for a few hours a weekend these days to write for RSG, I have a plan in mind. I also have a strategy to maximize my earnings depending on what Uber and Lyft offer me in the form of incentives.

Lately, the bonuses and Consecutive Ride Bonuses (CRBs) have been reduced so much that I would have to rely on my surge-only driving strategies.

Uber and Lyft both have pivoted from offering fantastic incentives for existing drivers and newbies alike to turn their app on to a “let it surge” strategy. They zigged, so I had to zag. That doesn’t mean I chase the surge, that means I have to pay attention to the three Ps (Patience, Planning, and Position).

Here was my strategy for the Super Bowl and Valentine’s weekend:

  1. Only accept surge only/mostly rides (Since incentives have been eliminated)
  2. Do not get caught in So-Fi stadium traffic (Drop-offs or Pick-ups)
  3. Position myself correctly by various strategies
  4. Finish the 30 for $70 Quest
  5. Drive mostly before the event kicked off
  6. After the event, use the surge to destination filter home
  7. Try to average $50 per Online and Active hour
  8. Use Lyft Scheduled Rides to get me where the action would be

My Super Bowl Weekend Results

If pictures are worth a thousand words, take a look below! This is what I observed most of the weekend.

I was happy to see that the city was painted in RED, which means more money in my pocket. I was nostalgic since I had to open the playbook from a few years ago when Uber had the surge multiplier in place. I knew exactly when and where to be for the upcoming demand spike and the above-average earnings followed.

The #8 goal above was accomplished both days (Saturday & Sunday) via Lyft scheduled rides. This one took me to LAX, very close to Santa Monica, and the other one took me to West Hollywood from the suburbs, where I live. Got paid to get to the action and no dead miles!

I did 31 rides, so goal #4 above was accomplished. Out of 31 rides, 27 were on max surge, so put a checkmark next to goal #1! 

The following are some screenshots of the max surge I am talking about. The surges reminded me of 2017, aka the good old days. The days I would refuse any ride below 2.5X, let the surge build up and then pounce. Those days the base rates were a lot higher than what they are now as well (Los Angeles base rates for Uber 60/21 cents, for Lyft 80/12 cents).

In order to accomplish my #2 and #5 goals, I used my Destination Filter strategy to stay away from So-Fi stadium. I actually did 10-12 rides on high surge before the game on Sunday. Why would anyone drop off or pick up at a stadium for a major event? What a colossal waste of time!

Did I get a few requests headed to the stadium? Of course! I declined them all, since I had built a cushion for receiving the destination information upfront. I was happy to pass those rides onto the ants.

Take a look at the gnarly traffic around the stadium after the game and so-called celebrations! This is a driver’s nightmare if you get caught in one of these. You are one and done while the city is bleeding with cash.

I got caught out of position a couple of times around LAX, but my remedy was to drive through the geofenced area and grab myself a couple of sticky flat surge amounts. Take the $25 surge with you and head towards Santa Monica, which is only a couple of miles away. Goal #3, done!

I think I planned and executed as well as I could to achieve my goals #6 and #7. Here are my weekend totals.

$50 per Online, $55 per Active hour (UberX-Comfort)

31 trips with $22 average

$18.70 per trip without incentives

Door to door miles driven 318, including the Lyft Scheduled rides, $2.32 per mile

I achieved all the goals I had set, made some decent money, and spoke to a bunch of nice passengers. Additionally, the weather was the best it ever was in Los Angeles! I got to hang around Santa Monica Beach most of the day next to the Pacific Ocean and watch the game at a friend’s house.

I enjoyed driving during the Super Bowl in Los Angeles, and the results speak for themselves. I hope everyone had a safe and profitable weekend.

Please, post screenshots of your earnings in the comment section below. I think I did as well as I could, did anyone beat my numbers?

-Sergio @ RSG