No matter what’s going on in the world, football can always bring people together. In 2020, Super Bowl LIV had an average audience of 102.1 million viewers across all platforms.
This year’s game — Super Bowl LV — kicks off on February 7, 2021, between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s sure to be an exciting battle between two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time despite fewer people in the stadium, and in your home, than normal.
Even though your Super Bowl party might be smaller this year, there’s no reason you can’t go all out when it comes to prepping for and watching the game.
Get into the spirit of one of the most popular sporting events in the country with these tips for setting your game viewing experience up right.
Arranging the furniture
Thinking about who your Super Bowl watchers are will help influence how you set up your furniture. If you’re sure everyone will have their eyes glued to the screen the whole game, make sure you have enough comfortable seating facing the TV. Consider adding big floor cushions or some comfy ottomans for extra, mobile seating.
If you know some of your guests will get a little bored watching the game and want to talk, create a space, off to the side, where this is possible. Set up a few chairs, facing each other with an end table between them. You’ll have an obvious space that’s not about game watching if they get too chatty during the fourth quarter. Keeping them in the same room though allows them to jump back in whenever they’re ready for more football.
Rearranging furniture to optimize a special, at-home event is pretty standard, but with the Super Bowl, it’s important you double check the flow of the room. Once you’ve moved everything into place, walk the space. Make sure the best paths throughout the room don’t involve walking past the television. Check to see that nobody will get boxed in from any spot either. You don’t want people climbing over each other each time they want to get up.
Enhancing your viewing experience
Even if you don’t have the largest TV screen out there, you can still enjoy the game. In addition to having your TV in a spot where it’s easy to see, you also want to take into consideration the sound and the lighting for an optimal viewing experience.
Getting the sweet spot when it comes to sound means finding balance. You want the volume of the TV loud enough to hear the game and overcome the cheering and side talk. However, you don’t want it so loud that you’ll damage people’s eardrums. Sometimes, you can achieve this balance by putting the couch a little closer to the screen. If you’ve got a little time to upgrade your TV room, consider putting in some surround sound speakers. This spreads the noise out, making it easier to hear at a lower volume, even with the interference of people talking.
You should also check your television screen for glare. This is something you might not notice because you’re used to it, but guests will see the obstruction right away. To do this, turn your TV on the Saturday before the game, at the same time as the game. Open and close your blinds, turn on and off lights. Find the perfect lighting combination that keeps your screen clear and go with that on game day.
Providing quick snack access
No matter how many people are at your Super Bowl Party, even if it’s only you, snacks are essential. They’re almost as important as the game itself, but you need access without having to miss a single play.
Setting up a dedicated food area within your TV room means all you need to worry about is getting up to refill your plate. This spot should be out of the way, but also easy to get to. You don’t want to have to climb over a lot of people, or furniture, to grab another snack. You also want a clear path that doesn’t force anyone to cross in front of the television.
How much space you set aside for this station depends on the number of platters you’ll have. You may have to bring in a small folding table, or repurpose that tiny bistro table you normally keep on the deck. Whatever you use, make sure the table top is properly prepared to handle hot plates and icy drinks without damaging the furniture.
Take your snack inspiration from the game itself
When it comes to the snacks themselves, the sky's the limit. Popular choices on Super Bowl Sunday include wings, pizza, subs, and all kinds of dips, but you can go in any direction. It’s best to craft your food spread by your audience. However, for those who like to take it over the top, consider a few of these ideas:
- A stadium-shaped setup to house all your food.
- A cheeseball shaped like a football.
- Chocolate-covered football strawberries.
- A watermelon fruit bowl carved into a helmet.
- Deviled eggs with football laces.
These ideas only scratch the surface of how to let the treats at your food station stand out, but they’re all a good way to keep people — or just you — going back for more snacks.
Thinking outside your typical space
If you live where it’s warm enough, skip all the TV room prep. Flip your Super Bowl party on its head and take it outside. With a big enough screen and proper setup, you may even be able to invite more guests to socially distance and watch with you. Of course, this depends on the weather and if you have the right equipment to screen outside, including:
- A projector
- Large screen
Set all this up before you arrange your seating to ensure your projector is in the right spot and that nobody accidentally sits in front of it. Test your speakers as well, and your internet connection, to ensure everything will work smoothly on game night.
You may also want to modify your snacks to include some treats from the grill. Just make sure to position it so you can watch the screen as you cook.
Enjoying game night from the comfort of your own home
It’s not so unusual to watch the Super Bowl from home, and it’s nice to know you don’t have to fully upgrade your space to make it party-ready.
It’s also nice that you can keep things simple when you’re still living in a home you’re getting ready to sell. The hardest thing when listing a home is keeping it staged for potential buyers.