All-Star Game Rentals May Not Be Slam Dunk

Company claims homeowners can make big bucks during February game week

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Monday, Nov 2, 2009  |  Updated 10:27 PM CDT
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All-Star Game Rentals May Not Be Slam Dunk

Getty /STOCK4B-RF

An Internet business says it can make North Texans rich by renting their homes for February's NBA All-Star Game, but the company makes several claims that cannot be verified.

An Internet business says it can make North Texans rich by renting their homes for February's NBA All-Star Game, but the company makes several claims that cannot be verified.

Steve Hamlin said he saw a roadside sign along a Dallas freeway that promised "$5,000 and up a night for your house."

He called the number on the sign, and Global Event Rental told him his house could be worth $55,000 for an All-Star week rental.

The game will be played Feb. 14 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

"It sounded like a great price," Hamlin said. "I asked a few more questions about what I needed to do, so he said, 'All you need to do is give me a credit card.'"

The company requests $1,195 upfront to show a virtual tour of a potential rental property on its Web site.

But upfront payment for a real estate rental listing is not typical, according to Bill Head, of the MetroTex Realtors Association.

"That probably wouldn't be customary in most markets," he said. "As a homeowner, I would be skeptical to do that."

Google Map's street view shows Global Event Rental's Arizona address to be an old Phoenix barbershop.

A Phoenix television reporter visited the location, and neighbors there told him no one has been working at that address lately.

Pat Weiss, a Global Event Rental spokesman, said the barbershop was a temporary office. But it is still listed online and in public records as the company's address.

Weiss said the company rented 350 Phoenix-area homes for last year's Super Bowl.

"I find that hard to believe," said Bob Sullivan, Phoenix Super Bowl Host Committee chairman.

Sullivan said the committee considered the possibility that private homes might be needed for visitors, but that plenty of hotel rooms were located. No private homes were rented to the best of his knowledge, he said.

Weiss said Global Event Rental has already rented 20 homes in North Texas for the All-Star Game, but did not reply to a request to speak with any of the homeowners.

Paul Alexander, who owns a home in the neighborhood closest to the Arlington stadium, said he would be thrilled to receive that kind of money to rent his house for a week.

"Unbelievable, especially when I'm on disability -- that (has) got to be like a miracle," he said. "We haven't heard anything up and down the street -- I mean local gossip travels fast -- and we haven't heard a word about this."

Global Event Rental's Web site lists a Dallas Stemmons Freeway apartment, claiming it is less than "five miles from the big game."

The Web site recently showed a picture of American Airlines Center in Dallas, where the Mavericks play basketball, with the listing.

But the Feb. 14 All-Star game will be at Cowboys Stadium, not in Dallas. And the Stemmons Freeway address shown in the listing is a senior citizen apartment building that does not allow sublets.

"He's just taking people's money and going on," Hamlin said.

But Weiss denied that, saying he is giving people "a chance to make money."

The MetroTex Realtors Association said a local, licensed agent will know best if a NBA rental windfall is really coming to town.

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