TAMPA, Fla. - — It’s a lucrative business in West Tampa gone lukewarm thanks to the pandemic. Neighbors have long enjoyed the side hustle of parking cars on their yards on game days. But with all the excitement building up to Tampa's Big Game it will be a chance for these homeowners to rebound.
How much is a patch of grass worth? For neighbors living around Raymond James Stadium, their front yards could mean hundreds of dollars in their pocket, come game day and a chance to make back what they lost.
Sunday's Buccaneers win over the Green Bay Packers was a game-changer. The excitement is building for all of Tampa Bay and especially for fans living right by the stadium in West Tampa.
“I’m super excited," said Carrie Quevedo, "I just went ahead and left with the car and my husband blowing [car] horns all the way down to the stadium."
By earning their spot in the Super Bowl, the Bucs are making these neighbors some bucks.
“Tampa — they are very hardcore fans and I am one of those," said Quevedo.
Quevedo has been parking cars for game days in her yard for 30 years. But when the pandemic hit the season opener went without any fans at all and every game since with limited attendance.
“It really impacted me a lot it impacted my pocket a lot," she said.
Now fans are reaching out to rent her lot for upwards of $600.
“The excitement once they announced Brady and Gronkowski was huge and then the pandemic hit and you’re like ‘Wait a minute we’re not even going to benefit from the excitement to be able to see them,'" said Elaine Sumner.
Sumner also lives about four blocks from the stadium. She’s been parking cars since 2006 when her family first bought the house. As both a fan and a homeowner benefiting from tailgating, she thinks February 7th will be huge.
“It’s definitely a way to in one-shot get back if not all they could have made at least some of what they could have made and have that little bit of extra money in their pocket," she said.
In the last 24-hours, she rented out her lot for just over $400 to front-line workers who won tickets to the game.
“This last year has been super rough for them just with their jobs," she said.
To show her thanks she gave them a deep discount. It’s clear, no matter the outcome of the big game, Tampa is winning.