The countdown to Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, has begun. For the millions of people watching the AFC champion Baltimore Ravens battle the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers for the National Football League title, the biggest problem may be choosing where to plant oneself for the game. But for the generous souls who have volunteered to be the Super Bowl party hosts, now is a time for strategizing.
It’s a lot of work hosting a football party but it can also be a lot of fun – which is probably why there are so many parties going on. To help in the planning process, party experts at Metro Newspaper Services put together a list of strategies to help in planning the perfect game-day party:
* Know your playing field. If you’ve got a big house with a ginormous great room and plenty of couch space, then by all means invite all of your friends. But if you’ve got a small home, you might want to limit the number of people you invite.
Look around the room and take stock of how many people you can seat comfortably. If you want to squeeze in a few more guests, consider moving non-seating furniture out of the room to accommodate additional seating (folding chairs or puffy cushions).
“Crowding too many people into the house can be uncomfortable and dangerous, never mind trying to talk and hear above the cacophony of too many people,” states the report by Metro News.
* Size up the competition. This is a once-a-year-event so you can bet you’re not the only one hosting a Super Bowl party. That means anything you are looking to rent, as in big screen TV or chafing dishes for the food, are going to be in high demand and possibly unavailable if you wait too long. The same goes for party-theme items such as Super Bowl paper plates and other game day items.
*Create your own play book. Decide in advance what kind of party you plan to host, be it a chips-and-dips type of gatherings or something more substantial in which you supply the main dish – like a 50-yard submarine sandwich – and have everyone else bring a dish to go with it.
What about kids? If they’re coming you may want to have a back-up plan for them or even adults who have come for the social aspect of the party but are not necessarily interested in the game. Maybe you can provide a second TV set set up for movies or video games.
*Do your equipment check. If you’ve ever thought about trading up on your TV, now is the time to do it as most retailers will be offering deals on new televisions pre-Super Bowl. If buying a new TV is not possible at this time, consider renting a unit. Just remember ‘tis the season so there will be other hosts thinking the same thing.
* Be a savvy host. Know important details like the kickoff time is 6:30 p.m. and that the game is being played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The game also will be streamed live on CBSSports.com, if for some reason you’re not able to get it on the TV. Make sure the bulk of your food preparation is done before the game starts so guests can mingle and chow a little beforehand. You could do it in parts such as having snacks and appetizers ready when guests arrive and then have the main course set up buffet-style in another room -- ready in time for the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII halftime show featuring Beyoncé. Alicia Keys is scheduled to be sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. You’re the host so you are the one who has to fill up the empty chip bowls during any action in the game. You may also have to play butler to any beverage requests as well. Make everyone aware that you’re heading in for more snacks or beverages so you get all of the requests at once rather than here and there.
* Remember your role. You are hosting the Super Bowl party not a party that happens to be on game day. In other words – no entertainment is really needed apart from the game itself and maybe a football pool or two. Make sure the TV is placed in a position where everyone can see the game clearly. It’s OK to show your team spirit, as long as the 49ers banner does not obstruct the view of a Ravens fan. To enhance the experience, consider having two TVs tuned into the game running in separate rooms. This will allow guests to mingle a little more and not be tied to one area. Having a houseful of guests celebrating and socializing is part of what makes Super Bowl parties so much fun.