Super Bowl Sunday is coming up, and now’s the time for rideshare drivers to start planning. Below, senior RSG contributor Jay Cradeur shares his key strategies for making the most money driving on Super Bowl Sunday.
Super Bowl LIV (54) is upon us. The Super Bowl is one of America’s great traditions and is one of those few experiences every year in which most Americans do the same thing.
- Make sure you have these key driver-recommended products in your car before the big day (particularly these barf bags!)
- Other big holidays coming up for rideshare drivers
We gather, eat and drink, and watch not only a football game but also the commercials. Many people have their favorite teams, jerseys, even good luck rituals! However, as rideshare drivers, we may not be watching the game, but we may have our own good luck (money) rituals.
This article will look at how you can profit from Sunday’s festivities as a rideshare driver and have fun doing it.
Best Super Bowl Uber Driving Tips
- Start driving two hours before Super Bowl kick-off
- Drive during Super Bowl half-time
- When the game ends, be sure to be downtown or wherever most people are watching in sports bars
- Have a supply of barf bags
- Give out free bottles of water for better passenger tips
Is Uber Busy During Super Bowl Sunday? Planning Ahead
Driving on Super Bowl Sunday can be really fun, and depending on where you live, there is a chance to see Super Bowl Uber surge. I have done it a couple of times, and each time thoroughly enjoyed ferrying around party goers. However, in order to maximize your revenue, you will need to plan your day. There are going to be a few key times of the day on which to focus.
Two Hours Before The Game Begins
Note when the game begins. On the west coast, it starts at 3:30 PM. That means it’s on at 6:30 east coast and 5:30 in the midwest.
I found two hours before the game is a great time to drive and start your day. It is not crazy busy like at the end of the game. People are leisurely heading off to a friend’s home, or to a sports bar. Food is being served up. Spirits are high in anticipation of the big game.
Demand will remain strong during this time, and you won’t get bogged down in traffic. Demand will continue to grow as you get closer to the start of the game, no matter which time zone you are in.
Halftime / Beginning of 3rd Quarter
Some people won’t be going to watch the game until halftime. This is due to a common belief that the game doesn’t get exciting until the second half – whether or not you believe that might depend on if it’s your team that’s actually in the Super Bowl!
Nonetheless, demand will pick up as folks will either be heading out to a friend’s home or to a bar, or you will find some folks moving from one party to another at half time. At this point in the day, you can expect to see some passengers a bit inebriated.
End of the Game
This will be the busiest time of the day. It is just like when the majority of bars close on a Friday or Saturday night. Everyone, all at once, is ready to leave and get back home.
You will want to be in the downtown section of your city where there are bars. This will be a good spot to make pickups and drive some folks home.
Dealing with Drunk Passengers
Drunk passengers on Super Bowl Sunday are not the same type of drunk passengers pouring out of a bar at 2 AM on Saturday night. The Super Bowl passenger is less of a regular drinker and therefore will feel more impacted by the alcohol. Also, most venues have abundant platters of food, so the chance of serious barfing in your car is higher.
Be careful and be sure to have plenty barf bags on hand. We recommend Emesis blue barf bags. I carry them in my glove box so they are ready within seconds, while other drivers keep them in the back seats closest to the passengers.
One driver told us they like to designate the least drunk passenger with the ‘task’ of making sure their friends have barf bags – it’s a good strategy to try if you don’t drive drunk people around often! But whatever you do, get barf bags.
This is how I handle drunk folks, regardless of the event: If someone seems inebriated, I start talking to the passenger. This will give you a good sense of the level of drunk you are dealing with. If someone seems ready to blow, I ask the passenger how he or she feels. “Are you going to be OK?”
If the passenger seems less than responsive, I will suggest they open the window and get some air. This would also be the time to hand the passenger the wonderful blue barf bag. “Here you go, just in case you feel sick.”
At this point, I look to see how much longer I have to drive before making the drop-off, and I hope we make it.
Getting Big Tips
If you want bigger tips on this festive day, make the trips enjoyable. It is wise to know who is playing in the game so you can have a good conversation. This year we will have my home team, the San Francisco 49ers, playing against my childhood nemesis, the Kansas City Chiefs. In my youth, Dad had season tickets to the Oakland Raiders. We hated on Kansas City. Go Niners!
If you can do a little bit of research, that would be helpful. For example, know the quarterbacks. San Francisco has Jimmy Garoppolo, and Kansas City has Patrick Mahomes.
I don’t normally recommend having water for the passengers. However, when I drove a few years back on Super Bowl Sunday, I did buy a flat (24) of small bottled waters. The passengers loved me for it. People who are day drinking really crave water because alcohol causes dehydration.
You can be the hero by providing a solution at a very low cost. Passengers tip heroes. Be the hero!
What If You Drive In Miami?
This year the big game is being played at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
When the Super Bowl was here in the San Francisco Bay Area a few years back, I stayed away from the stadium. Most drivers headed to the area of the game. From what I heard, traffic was a nightmare. Sure, the surge was high from time to time, but since there were so many drivers, there weren’t enough rides to go around and make it worthwhile. In addition, the traffic was terrible.
My strategy has always been to stay away from big events. Let the other drivers do that. Since most drivers head toward the event, that means demand for me away from the game will be high. I can get plenty of pickups and avoid the traffic. Remember, we make the most money driving fast on the freeway. We make the least money sitting in traffic.
Last year, RSG contributor Joe drove during the Super Bowl. Here’s what he had to say about the experience, and his tips for driving successfully when the Super Bowl is in your city:
Uber and Lyft Super Bowl Promotions
As of now, I have not seen any special Super Bowl promotions from Uber or Lyft. Uber will want you to drive exclusively for Uber. Lyft will want your loyalty as well.
I expect there will be a promotion from each company. However, the promotions of late have not been at all eye-opening. If you can pick up a little bit extra, great! But don’t expect much.
Have a great day. If you start two hours before the game and wrap up two hours after the game, that will be a full eight hour day. You should be able to crush it and have a good time doing it.
Play the game on the radio, talk it up, and manage your tipsy passengers to get big tips. If you are like me, you may experience FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) because you are not at the party. Relax and enjoy, the party will be happening in your car. Be safe out there.
Readers, does your city have any particular events planned for the Super Bowl? Are there areas to avoid (downtown streets shut down for a party, for example)? Let us know how you plan to tackle the Super Bowl this year!
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-Jay @ RSG