This is How Rideshare Drivers are Taking Advantage of Football Season

This is How Rideshare Drivers are Taking Advantage of Football Season


Are you ready for some football?

The start of football season is an exciting time. Diehard football fans finally will have something to do on Sunday’s again, casual fans will welcome the return of gameday parties, and everyone else gets to play fantasy football!

For rideshare drivers, football season means saying hello to some of the most profitable and predictable surges that you’ll see all year if you take advantage of them.

But what’s the best way to make the most money during this football season? We talked to rideshare drivers across the country to find out how they are taking advantage of the return of football to maximize their profits, and we came up with this comprehensive guide to football Sunday’s (and Saturday’s) for rideshare drivers.

Collegiate and NFL football create a base of devoted fans heading for the stadium and local sports bars or holding viewing parties at home. As a rideshare or food delivery driver, how can you take advantage of this? Fortunately, rideshare strategy for the two services is similar, even down to the pregame. Regarding college football tailgate parties and NFL games, Uber and Lyft strategies are virtually identical. 

If you have been a rideshare driver for any time, you know there is a gig driver’s football game strategy. So take a few minutes to read this blog post and learn how to earn more on these days. Success doesn’t just hinge on rideshare to the football stadium; there are other opportunities as well. 

Here’s what we will cover:

  • Football affects both rideshare and food delivery.
  • Do the pregame homework. 
  • Working the airports.
  • Other tactics if you drive rideshare. 
  • Tactics if you drive food delivery.
  • General tips for rideshare and food delivery during football games.
  • Gridwise can make you more successful on game day.

Do the pregame homework

If you have never driven rideshare during football season, then knowing a little about how the venues handle rideshare is advisable. Be familiar with football game rideshare drop-off zones and check out the pickup procedure, too. Often, drop-off and pickup are in different places.

Ask fellow rideshare drivers how venues have addressed rideshare in previous years. When do they see pregame rideshare rush hours? What about the postgame rideshare surge? What rate increases can you expect to see in Lyft and Uber football game surge pricing? Ask about pregame and postgame surge times and predicting when earnings will peak before and after games. How about rideshare to a sold-out football stadium? Do other drivers have any football game traffic tips for Uber and Lyft on game day?

Check the website of the venue stadiums. Are there any special instructions for fans arriving or leaving by rideshare? Are there any Uber or Lyft football game promotions? 

In addition to, you can also check the Gridwise app to see when local games will conclude, pouring out hundreds of fans looking for a rideshare. The Gridwise app also shows other events that will generate rides. 

For rideshare drivers who work the sports bars and food delivery, check out for complete schedules of the games. You can determine the best games and schedule your driving for those times. You might also use this information in advance, asking passengers, wait staff, and managers in the various food establishments for their tips on what they think will be the best games. 

Working the airports

Any list of pro tips for football game rideshares includes pregame rideshare rush hours, and the reality is that the pregame bump in rideshare business starts on Friday. This is as true for collegiate games as it is for NFL games. Hardcore fans, collegiate parents, and devoted school alumni regularly attend the away games. You can expect to see them arriving at the airports as early as Friday afternoon, so make it a point to be around the airport for pickups. 

Expect the Where to Drive screen on your Gridwise app to show a bump in traffic at the airports on Friday night when collegiate parents, alumni, and fans from the out-of-town team arrive. Restaurants will also show increased demand. 

This is where you start your reconnaissance. The majority of these out-of-town visitors stay at local hotels. There might even be a headquarters hotel. These folks will need a ride on game day. If you can determine a headquarters hotel or a hotel that is giving fan groups a package deal, you can position yourself to pick up a good number of rides on game day.

Ask about special events. Are fans planning a meet-up at a local restaurant that night or brunch before the game? Does the group have plans to visit a local attraction? These are all opportunities for additional rides. 

Other strategy if you drive rideshare

On the day of the game, expect rideshare drives to originate in the suburbs. Many local fans take a rideshare rather than hassle with the traffic themselves. They also anticipate consuming alcoholic beverages at the game, and taking a rideshare home is safer than driving under the influence. 

Check maps for the metropolitan transit systems. Trains and buses typically reach the stadium, but this isn’t always the case. Fans frequently look for rides from a depot near the stadium. Look for special offers from Lyft or Uber providing additional incentives for rides that drop off at the stadium or pick up afterward. 

Monitor the game from your car radio. If there is a sizable gap in the score by the end of the third quarter and the trailing team is unlikely to catch up, fans will start to slip away, hoping to avoid traffic. The surge of fans leaving the game can begin early in the case of runaway games. 

Google maps screenshot showing nearby bars and restaurant hotspots around a football stadium.

West Hollywood near Los Angeles has a liberal sprinkling of sports bars. This is typical for most medium and large cities. Lots of folks need rides at the end of game day. 

You can bypass the craziness of the sports stadiums and work the sports bars. For many drivers, sports bars are more profitable. Driving time lasts longer because the sports bars show all the games, regardless of where they occur. You’ll likely get customers who have had a lot more to drink, so prepare yourself. Carry emesis bags and perhaps even refer to the Gridwise blog post How to Deal with Drunk Uber or Lyft Passengers.  

My trends screen on the Gridwise app

Check the My Trends screen on the Gridwise app to see, among other things, how your earnings compare to the average in your area during football season. Using the Gridwise app will help you stay above the norm.   

Strategy if you drive food delivery

What kinds of restaurants should you expect to receive orders for food delivery during football season? In a report by Restaurant Business, DoorDash revealed the top five foods for football fans. Chicken wings lost their premier place as the food of choice. What were the top foods? Take a look:

  1. mozzarella sticks
  2. boneless chicken wings
  3. chips and salsa
  4. Caesar salad
  5. pepperoni pizza

Grubhub reminds restaurant owners that they can expect football-related food delivery orders on two extra days each week during the season: Mondays and Thursdays. If you are deciding which days to turn on your app and go for a drive, those two days need to go on your list during pigskin season.

You can expect orders to surge about 30 minutes before the start of the game and continue through halftime. Don’t stop at the end of the game, though. These football parties can go on for a few hours after the final play as fans watch the various postgame shows and rehash the game with friends. 

General tips for rideshare and food delivery during football games

You can take additional measures to make football season more profitable, especially when looking for tips. 

Wear a football jersey or cap. You can either show your preference for the home team or wear a generic football jersey or an NFL hat. The latter is neutral and makes everyone happy. When you work the airport on Fridays, though, wear the jersey or T-shirt of the visiting team. That’s who you’ll be picking up for the most part. 

Spruce up your choice of music. If the Minnesota Vikings are in town, remember that Minneapolis is also the former home of Prince. There is a good chance you will have some Prince fans in the car. Your passengers will appreciate a playlist liberally sprinkled with Purple Rain, Little Red Corvette, Kiss, and others. A custom playlist based on the visiting team’s city is always a hit with fans. 

Drive a larger vehicle. Can you change your regular rideshare car for the family SUV on game day? If so, driving Lyft XL or UberXL gets you a higher rate. 

Remember the really big games. Super Bowl Sunday rideshare tactics are the same but will be much more intense. The big game may not be in your city, but rideshare at the sports bars, along with food delivery, will be busy. Football season ends in January, but don’t forget March Madness, which some call “rideshare madness.” It’s another good time to work the sports bars and food delivery. 

Multi-app. According to our data, 31% of drivers multi-app, and 21% multi-app across categories (meaning they do both rideshare and food delivery, or some other service). 

Graph showing 31% of drivers multi-app, and 21% multi-app across categories.

While the games are happening, rideshare might be slow, but people at football viewing parties are hungry. Switching to food delivery ensures that you earn as much as possible. 

Rideshare and delivery event notifications

Gridwise messaging informs you of developing demand for rideshare and food delivery. The potential to earn more is always just a screen away when you use Gridwise. 

Pay attention to Gridwise messaging. Through the Gridwise app, you can sign up for messaging, telling you when events let out, predicted surges in demand, and other opportunities as they materialize. It is an invaluable service, only available from Gridwise. 

No two cities are alike on game day. According to this Gridwise blog post, The Impact of Pro Football Home Kickoff Games on Gig Mobility Demand, if your city has a hometown football team, professional or collegiate, you will have a unique pattern on game day for rideshare and food delivery. Likely factors include the location of the game venue and the types of restaurants and sports bars fans have available to them. 

There are, however, some consistencies. Tailgate parties start about two hours before kickoff. If the game starts at 11:00 am, this means people will start arriving at the stadium at 9:00 am. Expect demand for rideshare to peak around that time and continue until kickoff. Food delivery to football fans at home is up and down depending on the city, but expect it to peak late in the day, around 7:00 pm, as the last games are wrapping up and fans are celebrating their wins and bemoaning their losses. For more information, visit the Gridwise Analytics website

Gridwise can make you more successful on game day

The Gridwise app is essential for every rideshare driver, especially when you need pro tips for football game rideshares. Regular features such as When to Drive and Where to Drive provide real-time information on where rideshare and food delivery demand is greatest. You can track miles and fares for tax deductions from football weekend rides with the Gridwise Mileage Tracker. 

Don’t forget the many benefits you can access through Gridwise, including roadside assistance, telemedicine, dental insurance, and more. The Gridwise blog offers vital information on strategies and tactics for making you a successful gig driver. Gridwise helps you stay safe and maximize your earnings. 

And we also help you have fun out there.


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