Host a sports viewing party to remember

Besides wings, nachos or chips provide some healthy fare like celery and salad as well.

Spotlight Staff

Amateur and professional athletics are both big business.

According to Forbes, the Southeastern Conference, a collective of universities that includes the University of Alabama and the University of Georgia, generated $375 million in television money alone in 2015, collecting another $140 million from football and basketball postseason play.

While that’s a hefty chunk of change, and even more impressive when considering the SEC is just one of many conferences in college athletics, it pales considerably in comparison to the National Football League, which Forbes projected would surpass $13.3 billion in total revenues in 2016.

Such figures highlight the popularity of both amateur and professional sports.

Hundreds of millions of people across the globe enjoy sports, and many are fond of gathering with fellow fans to watch their favorite teams play, whether in-person or on television.

Viewing parties are a great way to watch the big game with fellow fans, and such gatherings don’t have to require all that much effort on the part of hosts.

· Make it a potluck affair. Potluck affairs make perfect sense for sports viewing parties, so don’t be surprised if guests offer to whip up some homemade guacamole or a buffet-style dish for the big party. Encourage this, asking guests to share what they’re bringing with other invitees so there are no duplicate offerings.

· Vary the food and beverage menu. Chicken wings and beer might seem like go-to foods and beverages for the big game, but even sports bars are increasingly recognizing sports fans’ desire for healthy foods. It’s still acceptable to serve staples like wings, nachos, chips, and pretzels, but try to provide some healthy fare like celery and salad as well. Even whole-grain pretzels might be more enticing to guests watching what they eat. In addition, provide alternatives to alcohol, such as water, soda and juice, for guests who are abstaining.

· Upgrade your television. Projection screens are go-to options for many avid sports fans, But projectors and screens may stretch some sports fans’ budgets. A 4K ultra-HD television can be an affordable option depending on the size of the television, and such devices provide incredibly crisp pictures that can make sports fans feel as though they’re inside the stadium cheering on their favorite players.

· Purchase a sound system. Today’s televisions are sleek and thin. While that saves space and provides more aesthetic appeal than the bulky televisions of yesteryear, thin designs leave little room for sound tech. As a result, it can be hard to hear what’s going on in the game without a sound system. Sound systems are relatively inexpensive; just make sure to purchase one that is compatible with your television.

Sports viewing parties tend to be easygoing affairs that don’t require the level of planning of more formal gatherings.

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