Whether your favorite team plays an afternoon game on Sunday or livens up the network’s prime time line-up, watching is always more fun when you have a crowd around you. Football entertaining parties let you celebrate a big win or commiserate if it’s a rebuilding year. So invite some friends and family over and try these five party-planning tips that will convince your guests to name you the MVP!
1. Make your television the focal point of the party
Your guests are there to enjoy your company, but they’re also expecting a good view of the big game. Make sure your television is readily visible and has the volume turned up enough to let people hear what’s happening on the field. Because the game is the only entertainment you need, you don’t have to think about planning party games or keeping conversations flowing. If you have the space and gear for it, consider setting up a projection screen outside so guests can flow from your living room to the patio or deck and back again without missing a play.
2. Arrange ample seating
If the game’s a close one, your guests may jump to their feet as they watch a fantastic punt return or a great one-handed catch, but they want to sit comfortably during halftime and commercials. If you have room for it, take a cue from stadium design and create a double row of seating with taller bar chairs in back and a low sofa or easy chairs in front. A few cushions on the floor can even serve as a third row of seating, giving everyone a good view of the game.
3. Serve plenty of good food
Football fans are a hungry bunch, so plan substantial fare, especially if your team’s playing in one of the late afternoon or evening games. If kickoff is at 7:00 in the evening, you’re serving dinner, not snacks. Make it a backyard barbecue with grilling essentials that let you serve fish and grilled vegetables for fajitas in addition to the classic burgers and hot dogs.
For late-season games, think of hearty, warming one-pot meals that connect to your team’s region. For example, Bengals fans might appreciate Cincinnati-style chili, and Saints fans always go for gumbo or jambalaya. If you’re putting on a major feast to celebrate a playoff-clinching game or a major division rivalry, splash out for steaks. They’ll still be talking about your party in the post-season when you feed them like royalty.
4. Don’t forget decorations
Sure, your guests will be glued to the television for much of the night, but party decorations make your home look festive. Streamers in team colors, oversized inflatable footballs and team logos on the walls show your spirit and help create an exciting game-day atmosphere well before the coin flip. If the party’s outside, show team pride with bunting, team flags and garden spinners that let everyone know a big fan lives here.
5. Think quality rather than quantity for drinks
You want guests to celebrate, but they also have to get home safely, so take a page from stadium concession booths and taper off the service as the game progresses. Beer is always a favorite, but if you’re having a smaller gathering and want to make a special toast, serve a little something stronger in team shot glasses at halftime. Make soft drinks, lemonade or iced tea readily available to keep thirsty guests satisfied.
If your team is one of the two lucky ones to play in the Super Bowl this year, take these suggestions and turn them up a few notches for an unforgettable game day celebration.