Throwing a sports viewing party is one of the best ways to engage with your favorite activity and increase the level of excitement of each play. But if you’re new to the neighborhood, or if you’re celebrating a particularly momentous occasion, you’ll want to make that viewing party unforgettable.
Get Yourself an Outdoor Bar
One of the best ways to watch sports together is at an outdoor bar. It’s a convenient excuse to gather outside, where you can enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and plenty of open space to move around in. It’s a way of simulating your favorite sports bar without forcing you to leave the house. It’s a convenient opportunity for people to share snacks and drinks without any pressure. And it gives you practically unlimited creativity for setup and design.
If you can’t build an outdoor bar, consider creating a kind of sports viewing cave in your garage or rearranging the living room furniture to support more viewing parties. With just a handful of tweaks, you can benefit from most of the advantages that you would have with an ideal outdoor bar.
If you want this event to make an impact, you need to start planning as early as possible, which also means sending out invites as soon as possible. Starting the process early takes pressure off you and gives you more time to creatively brainstorm, as well as procure the resources you need to make your party a smashing success. It also gives people more time to respond to your invites – and make any preparations necessary to attend.
Invite the Right People
A viewing party is only as enjoyable as the people who attend it. Accordingly, you should be conscious of how many people you invite and who you invite. With too few people, it won’t really feel like a party. With too many people, things could get loud, crowded, and uncomfortable. The ideal balance is going to look different for everyone.
You can definitely invite people who are fans of different teams, but it’s also important to be cognizant of personality differences that might cause issues. For example, you may not want to invite somebody who has a tendency to aggressively insult people who cheer for the other team if you’re also inviting fans of that team.
Prioritize Snacks and Drinks
Snacks and drinks are two of the most important elements to a successful sports viewing party, so you should spend much of your time and attention on these items.
As far as snacks go, you should have, at minimum:
- Something salty. Salty snacks, like chips and salsa, pretzels, and nuts provide a savory experience.
- Something sweet. Sweet snacks, like cupcakes, cookies, and other small desserts provide balance on the other end of the taste spectrum.
- Something light. It’s a good idea to have at least some light, healthy snacks available, such as an array of fresh, raw veggies, for people who only want to graze minimally.
- Something heavy. In contrast, you should also have some heavier items, like chicken wings or pizza, to fill people up.
Most of us enjoy alcoholic beverages from time to time, and alcohol is a must-have for most sports viewing parties. But don’t forget that 36 percent of U.S. adults totally abstain from alcohol. Accordingly, you should have a diverse mix of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available.
Have a Backup Viewing Plan
Nothing kills a sports viewing party faster than an unexpected outage that kills the stream. If you want to avoid such an interruption, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan. Is there a way for you to watch the game even if your home internet goes out? For example, you may be able to restore the stream if you have access to a mobile hotspot.
Set Some Ground Rules
If you’re inviting over new people, consider taking a moment to set some ground rules for the viewing party. Help acclimate people to the environment by directing them to things they might need, such as a bathroom. Then set expectations for how people should treat your space. For example, you may want people to eat only in one area of your house.
Introduce Other Forms of Entertainment
Halftime shows are common in American sports, but they’re not guaranteed. And almost nobody likes to watch commercials during breaks. Accordingly, you should plan for some alternative forms of entertainment to keep people occupied during these moments of downtime. For example, you might have additional games streaming on different screens or keep people occupied with background music.
Create a Sports-Themed Decor Atmosphere
Enhancing the ambiance of your sports viewing party can take it from good to great. While watching the game is the primary focus, creating a sports-themed decor atmosphere can add an extra layer of excitement and engagement for your guests.
Consider decorating your space with team colors, banners, and sports memorabilia to create a lively atmosphere that immerses everyone in the game. You can even encourage your guests to wear their favorite team jerseys to enhance the sense of camaraderie and competition. Don’t forget to set up a designated area for a photo booth with props related to the sport, allowing your guests to capture memorable moments throughout the event.
Adding a sports-themed decor atmosphere not only boosts the overall experience but also shows your dedication to making the viewing party unforgettable.
Plan Interactive Games and Contests
To keep the energy high and guests engaged during lulls in the game, plan interactive games and contests related to the sport being watched. These games can add an element of competition and excitement to your sports viewing party.
Consider organizing a prediction pool where guests can guess the final score, the first player to score, or other game-related outcomes. You can also set up a mini basketball hoop, a table for table tennis, or even a dartboard for friendly competitions during commercial breaks or halftime.
Furthermore, incorporate trivia questions related to the sport or teams playing, with small prizes for those who answer correctly. Interactive games and contests not only entertain your guests but also create memorable moments that everyone will talk about long after the party is over.
With these strategies, you should be able to host a sports viewing party that people remember indefinitely. If the party is a success, your attendees will be excited to come to your viewing parties in the future.