With thousands of people descending upon State College almost every weekend in the fall, a place to stay can be hard to find.
University Football Rentals allows people to rent homes in the State College area for the weekend, whether it is for football games, graduation, the Blue and White Game, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts or any other major event.
Mike Doyle, University Football Rentals managing partner, said the company started at the University of Notre Dame six-and-a-half years ago and has expanded to more than 15 locations across the country.
“What drew us to Penn State was the great fan base, and one that is willing to travel well to make it to games in State College,” he said.
With limited hotel space, Doyle said it was right for them to expand to State College and began its first season in 2011.
“Beaver Stadium’s capacity is about 25 percent larger than Notre Dame’s, and with the great feedback we received about being able to find housing, it created a great base for our company here in State College,” Doyle said.
He said the amount of homes that are available to rent have fluctuated, and currently there are about 10 to choose from, which has increased from last year.
While renting out a home for a weekend may seem daunting for homeowners, Doyle said there have been many benefits for those who have experienced it.
“Homeowners have an opportunity to make as much as one to two thousand dollars in one weekend,” Doyle said. “Some have even been able to pay a month’s mortgage and even save some extra money.”
Homeowner Curtis Johnson, of State College, said renting out his home was an easy decision to make.
“On the weekends, it makes it easy for my family and I to get away while earning an income,” he said.
Johnson said he was nervous about renting out his home at first, but once he met the people who were to be living in his house for the weekend, he was put at ease.
Johnson recommends people go through a house rental for football weekends because the experience has a “home feeling.”
“There are more things to do in a home than a hotel, such as cooking out, relaxing on the porch, utilizing the kitchen and even using the washer and dryer,” he said. “There are more accommodations of home and more room for a family.”
James Schappler,a University of Notre Dame student intern with University Football Rentals, said renting a home is one of the most convenient ways to experience a football weekend.
“Unlike a hotel, where a family might be split into two or three rooms, renting a house allows a family to be all together,” he said.
Schappler also said that being in a home gives a family the opportunity to cook meals inside the house instead of spending hundreds of dollars to go out to eat.
Since most rentals are within a half-mile to the stadium, the easy walking distance is very accessible, he said.
To sign a home up to be rented, Doyle said a person can go online to universityfootballrentals.com and sign up. The process takes about 15 minutes, and there are no fees for the homeowner to list their home, he said.