The Impact of Pro Football Home Kickoff Games on Gig Mobility Demand


Football season is here, with huge crowds and massive food orders arriving along with it. Gridwise sees this as an opportunity to add value for those in the gig service industry nationwide—drivers and gig service platforms alike. This is why we’ve decided to look at what the pro football home kickoff games mean for the gig-driving industry in two of our busiest cities, Chicago and Atlanta.

What does gig mobility data reveal about Pro Football kickoff games in 2022?

For fans across America, football is more than just a game. Tailgating parties begin two hours before kickoff and are widespread and heavily attended. But what impact does this and spectators flocking to the host cities have on the rideshare and delivery industry?

Was there a noticeable spike in demand for rideshare and food delivery on days in the respective cities where 2022 Pro Football home kickoff games were held? What time of the day are these spikes observed? How many trips and deliveries took place compared to standard Sunday? How were drivers’ earnings impacted? 

Our team analyzed our gig driver mobility data from the 2022 Pro Football home kickoff games in Chicago and Atlanta to shed light on these questions and more. 

What we found was insightful and strengthened the argument that accurate ground truth data can benefit all industry stakeholders. 

Pro Football Home Kickoff Game Day in Chicago

Regarding the trends that the 2022 Pro Football home kickoff games in Chicago revealed, we see clear windows of opportunity that require strategic scheduling to maximize driver income and bottom line. 

For example, data for the 2022 Pro Football home kickoff games in Chicago specifically demonstrates, interestingly enough, that there was only an hour leading up to the game that showed a significant increase in comparison to a standard Sunday. This time correlates to a popular start time of many tailgate parties. Further insights are discussed below.

Chicago food delivery demand:

Graph showing percentage change in food deliveries on football sunday. Pregame ridesahre rush hours.

As mentioned previously, this first peak occurred at 9 a.m. and then swiftly tapered off.

During the rest of the day, closer to the time of the game and during the game, pro football home kickoff games and mid-season game days experienced lower delivery volume than standard Sundays.

Demand only picked up during the end of the day at 7 a.m., when it’s 25% higher than a standard Sunday, a significant figure. This is when fans may have been ordering their post-game meals. 

Chicago food delivery driver earnings: 

Graph showing total earnings for food delivery on pro football game days

Our delivery data shows that delivery platforms and drivers began capitalizing on the home kickoff game day early. From 10 a.m., we see a significant increase of 25% in earnings over a standard Sunday simultaneously. 

Fans flock to the stadiums for tailgates, and we see this as delivery earnings spike at 11 a.m. with a 59% high compared to standard Sunday.

One thing about the Chicago Pro Football home kickoff game in 2022 is that although rideshare slowed as the game began (which we will delve into), food delivery earnings remained high. 

This is reflected in how, on home kickoff game days, we see a 27% post-game increase at 7 p.m. in delivery driver earnings compared to a standard Sunday, indicating a corresponding rise in food order demand compared to a standard Sunday. 

Chicago food delivery duration:

Graph showing analytics of food delivery trip duration big football game days

Earnings were high, but what does the duration of the food delivery trips reveal? 

In Chicago, the duration of food delivery trips peaked at kickoff, with an increase of 45% above a standard Sunday’s trip duration. 

Food delivery earnings also significantly increase during the game, with a small peak around 5 p.m. 

This increase in food delivery trip duration during this period could mean that food delivery drivers are driving through some congested areas in Chicago due to post-game traffic jams and that surge and bonus payouts were in effect to get more drivers on the road to meet the high demand. 

Chicago Delivery Insights

The Chicago home kickoff game reveals nuanced demand patterns, which allows industry stakeholders to use insights and algorithms to predict future demand for gig platforms.  Further, we see the impact of regional events on local traffic as evidenced by trip duration across rideshare and delivery. 

Gridwise’s gig mobility data for Chicago also revealed that decision-makers should analyze specific cities to create strategies that cater to each market. 

For example, hours before the game when delivery demand increased are unique insights that can impact strategy significantly. Gig platforms can utilize ground truth data-founded insights such as these to plan for windows of changing demand.  

Chicago rideshare trip demand:

Graph showing analytics for football game days

Our data indicates a significant surge in rideshare trip demand in the two hours leading up to the home kickoff game in Chicago. Between 10 a.m. and mid-day, trip numbers jumped by 42% compared to a standard Sunday. As crowds make their way to the stadium and tailgating parties, there’s a significant window for drivers to cash in on the surge.

In the 3-4 p.m. window, as the game closed, we observed a rush for people to exit. A surge in rideshare trip demand is evidence of this. 

Between 5 and 7 p.m., our data reflects a lower demand for rideshare on the home kickoff day in 2022 than on a regular mid-season game day. 

Chicago rideshare driver earnings:

graph showing total earnings analytics and data per rideshare trips. Pregame ridesahre rush hours.

hicago rideshare saw an increase in earnings on the home kickoff game day of 70% above a standard Sunday from 9 a.m. (the lead-up to tailgating) and 54% higher at 11 a.m., just before kickoff. In addition to high rideshare demand, this earnings increase may be due to surge and bonus offers extended to drivers willing to drive through kickoff game traffic.

We also see an indication of just how many spectators are leaving the stadium in the earnings data as it surges between 3-4 p.m., 61% higher than a standard Sunday.

Chicago rideshare trip duration:

graphs showing durations of rideshare trips on pro football game day analytics. Rideshare to football stadium.

Trip duration peaks around 12 p.m. at the game’s kickoff–18% above a standard Sunday. It rapidly dropped after the game began and remained steady but lower mid-range duration after the game ended.

Between 6 and 7 p.m., we see that data shows the trip duration increased. This increase could be attributed to more traffic once the post-game celebrations and other weekend activities disbanded- Chicago won the game against San Francisco.

Chicago Rideshare Insights:

We notice from rideshare insights on the Pro Football Kickoff in Chicago in 2022 that there are definite windows that can be capitalized on before traffic congestion. These are also key periods where tailgating parties lead spectators to stadiums a few hours before kickoff. 

What gig platforms can consider is trip duration at various hours of the day. By understanding this data point, they can adjust their regional tactics accordingly. 

For drivers, surge pricing increases the pay-per-trip. However, a longer trip could affect a driver’s ability to complete more trips. Thus, we see a further opportunity for gig platforms to access trip duration to compensate their drivers fairly. 

2022 Pro Football Home Kickoff Day in Atlanta 

Atlanta reflected different nuances from Chicago regarding rideshare and delivery during the 2022 Pro Football home kickoff game day, which led our team to look into crucial differences and similarities. 

We noticed from the game day that festivities delivered a spike in demand for food orders right up until kickoff – which contrasts the home kickoff game in Chicago in 2022. We also see that Atlanta had surges in lucrative post-match rides. 

Atlanta food delivery demand:

As early as 9 a.m. we saw food delivered in higher numbers than a standard Sunday. This could be in preparation by spectators to take food to tailgating parties, which usually began around 11 a.m. Demand was highest compared to a standard Sunday at 70% and continued up to the game at 1 p.m. Food deliveries decreased after the game, with a modest rebound at 6 p.m.

Atlanta food delivery driver earnings:

Food delivery drivers in Atlanta saw an increase in earnings at 10 a.m. compared to a standard Sunday.

This is likely also due to tailgating, where larger orders and subsequent tips could impact earnings. This earnings difference goes up to 40% at 12 p.m. on kickoff game day, compared to a standard Sunday.

We also see from this that the Atlanta mid-season games have their own peak times, which differ from the 2022 Pro Football home kickoff day. The times between 5 and 7 p.m. have been especially lucrative for Atlanta delivery drivers.

There is one unmissable similarity between the two cities we compared. Whether they hail from Atlanta or Chicago, many football fans prefer convenience on game day.

Atlanta food delivery duration:

Graph showing analytics for food deliveries pro football game.

Delivery durations in Atlanta started off high from the start of the day on the home kickoff game day. These peaks can evidence preparation for tailgating compared to a standard Sunday. Delivery time was 36% longer at 10 a.m. on the kickoff game day compared to a standard Sunday. Again worth noting for Atlanta, as with Chicago, we see a clear correlation to tailgating party preparation. 

There is another peak of 40% over standard Sunday for trip durations at 1 p.m., likely due to increased traffic around the city, as last-minute deliveries are made for at-home spectators.

Atlanta Delivery Insights:

The early windows of the day see significant volume and earning spikes for Atlanta’s 2022 Pro Football home kickoff game. We see that during times when pre-game tailgating parties are likely taking place are most lucrative per trip, but we also see drivers competing with higher congestion in Atlanta.

If gig platforms are savvy, taking advantage of higher demand can be a valuable strategy for both them and their drivers. 

Atlanta rideshare demand:

Rideshare trips football games

By 9 a.m., the fans requested early rides for tailgates, which seems to have driven trips up by 62% compared to a standard Sunday.  At 11 a.m., traffic remained high at 54% over standard Sunday numbers. Even at kickoff time, trip volume stayed at 17% over standard Sunday. 

Rideshare demand rises again toward the end of the game, beginning between 3 and 4 p.m. By 5 p.m., rideshare demand was 70% higher than a standard Sunday and only slowed down at around 8 p.m.

Atlanta rideshare driver earnings:

rideshare driver earnings pro football game day

Rideshare driver earnings in Atlanta show a different pattern than Chicago when we compare the home kickoff game against a standard Sunday. 

We saw higher paying trips from 10 a.m. and then a difference of as much as 66% compared to a standard day at 12 p.m., an hour before the kickoff. We also saw them pick up again at 3 p.m., increasing above a standard Sunday of 19% until 6 p.m.

This reflects how many spectators leave the stadium via rideshare, as earnings increase between 3-4 p.m. to levels 61% higher than a standard Sunday. 

Surge and bonus pay may also affect these figures, which is always a result of more demand for rides than available drivers.

Atlanta rideshare duration:

uber football game surge pricing reflected in analytics trips

Atlanta’s figures for ride duration show that traffic can also increase around the city on a game day. We see trip times noticeably increased around game time. By 11 a.m., the 27% maximum duration over a standard Sunday is likely related to the traffic buildup around the stadium. 

After the game ends, we see a peak as duration figures rose again as fans begin to leave the stadium. 

A 19% above standard duration rate at 4 p.m. indicates that savvy gig drivers can capitalize on this post-game demand. 

Does this indicate drivers’ higher pay rates are not worth it due to longer trip times? By our calculations, most rideshare companies do their best to activate surge pricing during times of higher demand when there are fewer drivers.

Atlanta Rideshare Insights:

For rideshare in Atlanta on the Pro Football Home Kickoff game day in 2022, we saw how volume surged from 9 a.m. This finding could speak to those that rideshare services at this time are aware of traffic and want to get to tailgating parties with enough time before the game. 

Congestion, seen through trip duration, does rise from around 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. (during the game and just after), but drivers are compensated for this. Interestingly, these surge times also differ from what is observed in Chicago which further strengthens the argument for ground truth data as a necessity for strategic business decisions. 

Pro Football culture’s effect on the industry 

Compared to mid-season game days and standard Sundays, home kickoff game days experienced spikes in earnings for food delivery and rideshare trips in the time periods around the game. Increases in the number of rideshare trips and deliveries completed were also observed. 

We found that driver earnings soared in Atlanta and Chicago in response to the demand generated by the Pro Football home kickoff games. 

What are the takeaways for drivers and decision-makers?

While rideshare observes an increase in trip volume and higher pay per ride, the duration of trips also increases due to pedestrian congestion and vehicular traffic.

This affects delivery drivers as well. Even though football fans increase demand for food being delivered, the congestion big games create makes it more difficult to complete deliveries in a timely manner. This affects driver productivity and can indicate a need to incentivize drivers.

Gridwise gig mobility data showed similar patterns for rideshare and food delivery in that home openers were markedly busier than other mid-season games in both cities. There were some differences between the two cities. Most noticeably, Atlanta experienced a higher change in rideshare trips on home kickoff game day compared to a standard Sunday than Chicago did during specific time periods. This indicates that patterns surrounding gig mobility differ regionally and are more complex than decision-makers may assume. 

When looking at mid-season games, there are also noteworthy differences between the two cities and across earnings, demand, and duration that both gig platforms and drivers alike can use to inform their business decisions.

Additionally, pre-game tailgating significantly contributes to trip volume, earnings, and duration fluctuations. Those who wish to profit from the activity surrounding pro football games should consider this. Again, the increased volume in rideshare, to some extent, and certainly in the case of delivery, would fuel the need to consider incentives to get drivers to work during these times.

Understanding regional traffic nuances is key for strategic rideshare and delivery scheduling, as well. Many times, football games aren’t the only activities producing congestion in an urban area. Moreover, different localities are presented with different issues regarding traffic congestion and how well the infrastructure can handle it. A city with a need to improve public transportation would face additional difficulties when faced with the huge crowds that can accumulate on game day. 

Gridwise data captures rideshare and delivery patterns for many cities across the United States, which can inform business owners and public sector decision-makers about how rideshare and delivery activity impacts their region.

Ridesharing and food delivery demand forecasting, and other much granular data can shed light on the trends shaping mobility, fuel both private and public sector decision-making, and move the world. Gig platforms, including Uber, Uber Eats, Lyft, Doordash, Instacart, Grubhub, Amazon Flex and the like, can benefit from this data and make better decisions for the drivers and their respective businesses.

How can you access gig mobility data?

 At Gridwise, our core focus is, as it always has been, on empowering gig drivers. This is part of our mission to improve how people work and goods move. Our business utility app for drivers has grown to become the leader in the industry, empowering 100k+ gig drivers every month. Our app has additionally enabled us to build the most comprehensive view into understanding gig workers and demand across all major gig mobility platforms.  

Gridwise Analytics is the platform that provides enterprises and the public sector access to the most comprehensive data sets covering supply and demand across all rideshare and delivery platforms. These data sets offer unique insight into trip economics, demand, gig wages, delivery efficiency, and more!  

Now Pro Football season isn’t the only time that knowing exactly what to expect regarding demand can inform how you do business. Gridwise Analytics can be utilized to understand demand and what is impacting them deeply. Get in touch with us to find out about how you can maximize profits all year long

Ready to get started with Gridwise Analytics?

Get in touch today!

Want to stay updated on Gridwise?

Subscribe to our news alerts

Related Posts