Coming together with good friends and family for the ultimate sports game gathering is a special time that people plan ahead for and look forward to. No matter which game it may be, watching your favorite teams compete – especially in the championship match – is a favorite pastime. If you’ve decided to host the viewing party, there are many strategies you can use to maximize this time together that will in turn create long lasting memories. Here are a few ways you can provide the best possible experience for your guests as they root on their favorite team!
Create the ultimate lounging setup. Comfort comes first for offering up maximum viewing pleasure! With your TV as your focal point, consider rearranging your furniture pieces in the living room so that it allows each guest to have a good view of the game.
Depending on how much seating you have regularly in your living room, you could consider bringing in a few chairs from the kitchen table to line up and fill empty space. Add a few oversized pillows on the floor against couch ends for a casual feel. As long as there are spots for guests to rest their food or drink, each seat should be equally as good!
Add extra lighting to offer up a warm atmosphere. Lighting makes a world of a difference when setting the perfect ambiance to your gathering room. If your TV sits atop a fireplace mantel or bookshelf, add a strand or two of Christmas lights along the bottom to give it an extra glow while watching your favorite athletes compete.
Dispersing a few candles around the room always adds a cozy, warm touch to the room. If your crew is particularly rambunctious, play it safe with flameless candles – they still give off a subtle light without the risk of an accidental fire caused by overzealous cheering.
Plan an appropriate stash spot for coats and bags. Many of our favorite sports events seem to occur in the winter (e.g. The Super Bowl, March Madness, etc.), which means your guests will likely arrive wearing extra layers. Unless you have a massive coat closet, plan ahead of time where you’ll have guests put their coats, hats, scarves, and all other winter gear so that they don’t clutter up the main room.
Snacks on snacks on snacks. What sports party is complete without the ultimate food? Let’s face it: every worthy social gathering is centered on munching. Skip the store bought crudité or overpriced delivery food and provide your guests with some thoughtful snacks.
Step up your munchie game by setting up a make-your-own taco bar. After all, who doesn’t like tacos? Chop up some fresh tomatoes, cilantro, sweet bell peppers, sweet onions (steam them slightly to remove the bitter edge), and jalapenos. Place each in a bowl, and line them up in a row. Add a few extra bowls to the lineup for cheese, chopped avocado, and other favorite condiments. Steam a pile of tortillas, and keep them warm in by wrapping aluminum foil around them. Offer up an easy protein option like ground beef or chicken by sautéing until cooked with spices such as chili powder, coriander, and cumin. Don’t forget to cook up some fajita veggies too if anyone coming is vegetarian (or just to add a healthy element to your tacos). Then let your guests assemble and enjoy!
Offer plenty of refreshments. Second to the food (or first, depending on the type of crowd your guests are) are the drinks. Keep your standard array of sparkling waters, sodas and juices handy for those making cocktails. Take a mental survey of your guests’ favorite beers, and be the ultimate host by purchasing a decent inventory of these options for them to enjoy on the house.
Keep those drinks crisp and cold is easy by filling up a large tin tub with ice and spreading out your options for guests to easily grab.
Decorate according to team colors. If you’re really on the ball with your planning, release your inner craftiness and consider creating team-themed decorations. Roll out a piece of artificial turf for your food display tablecloth, and search for free printables for each team’s logos to disperse throughout the table as confetti. Pick up paper plates and napkins for each team’s colors (or just one team, if you’re all rooting for the same side!). If you want to make it easy for guests to mingle while carrying their food and drinks, provide handy Original Party Pals in your favorite team colors.
Going the extra mile to execute small touches and planning ahead is a thoughtful and fun way to host the ultimately championship party that will make your guests feel extra special and surely keep them talking all through next season.