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Airbnb bookings spike in Florida for MLB spring training

Airbnb saw a spike in room bookings in Florida cities like Dunedin, Clearwater and Tampa related to the MLB spring training season. 
[WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
Airbnb saw a spike in room bookings in Florida cities like Dunedin, Clearwater and Tampa related to the MLB spring training season. 
[WILL VRAGOVIC | Times]
Published Apr. 13, 2017

Airbnb hosts in Tampa Bay and across Florida saw a significant bump in bookings during the spring training baseball season this year.

Florida's Grapefruit League — which brings 15 Major League Baseball teams to 12 Florida cities, including Dunedin, Clearwater and Tampa — saw significant spikes in bookings over a five-week stretch, according a press release Wednesday. Dunedin, which is home to the Toronto Blue Jays during the spring months, recorded a 205 percent spike in bookings. Port Charlotte in Charlotte County, where the Tampa Bay Rays play, saw a 78 percent spike. Clearwater, which hosts the Philadelphia Phillies, experienced a 62 percent increase in bookings this year. And in Tampa, where the New York Yankees play, Airbnb recorded a 32 percent jump.

In 10 out of the 12 cities in Florida that host spring training games, residents of the home team's state accounted for the majority of Airbnb bookings, the release said. That includes a whopping 1,860 percent boost to Dunedin from Ontario natives.

"Spring training represents a foundational component of the local economies for these 12 Florida cities," said Tom Martinelli, public policy director for Airbnb Florida, in a statement. "By expanding lodging capacity for regions with limited hotel inventory, Airbnb hosts helped welcome more families and baseball fans to their cities while serving as ambassadors for their local communities."

Contact Justine Griffin at jgriffin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

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