You all know that I’m not exactly a huge football fan, but mix in some real estate and I’m at least intrigued.  Did you know that the Super Bowl winner can be predicted by analyzing the commercial real estate market in the opposing teams’ home towns?

According to Jones Lang LaSalle, a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate, the percentage of vacant commercial real estate in the hometown is a predictor of which team will prevail.  Based on their historical analysis, the city with the higher vacancy rate will win and they’ve been right two-thirds of the time since 2000.

In 2006 office vacancy rates were at 15.95 in Pittsburgh and only 10.5% in Seattle, and the Steelers outscored the Seahawks 21-10.  In 2005 Boston had a vacancy rate of 18.9% and Philadelphia just 16.1%, and New England prevailed.  The theory held true for 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 as well.

So who would even think to compare these stats?  It should be no surprise that the executive chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle is two-time Super Bowl champ Roger Staubach.  “As a student of both football and commercial real estate, I can tell you that this vacancy rate hypothesis is absolutely the real deal,” Staubach said. “When it comes to picking a winner, you can throw everything else out the window.”

So what does that mean for this year’s match-up?  As of January 1, Pittsburgh had an office vacancy rate of just 12.2%, one of the lowest in the country.  Green Bay on the other hand, has a vacancy rate of 18.9%.  Clearly, the numbers are pointing to a win by the Packers, their first since 1997.

But I had to check this with my husband who also has a system for predicting the winner of any football game, and he’s right about 80% of the time.  If he watches a game and he has lived in one of the cities, that city’s team where he once lived will lose.  If he watches the game and has lived in both cities, the city’s team where he most recently lived will lose.  Now he’s never lived in either Green Bay or Pittsburgh, but did live in Philly…so based on proximity he is also predicting a Packers win.

If I were a betting kinda gal I think I’d have to agree!  Enjoy the game!