The 2014 FIFA World Cup is finally upon us, and soccer fans around the world are beyond excited. For those of you who were not fortunate enough to get tickets to soccer’s greatest event, you can still plan a great viewing party that will make your guests feel as if they too are in Rio de Janeiro. Here is a guide to everything you need to plan a great World Cup viewing party.
Because this is not a formal party of any kind, you do not need to stress over the guest list. You can keep the list to a minimum by inviting your closest group of friends, or you can make the guest list large and invite almost everyone you know. However, when creating your guest list, keep in mind that the more people you have at your viewing party, the more food you will need and the more room you will need for everyone to be able to watch the match. In the case of my World Cup viewing party, I will be keeping my guest list to approximately 10-15 people. A smaller guest list is easier to manage, and it makes it easier for everyone to communicate with one another. Also, if you are going to frequently host viewing parties, you might want to keep your guest list to a minimum in order to be more cost efficient.
No formal invitations are needed. You can casually mention to your friends and guests either in person or on the phone that you are having a World Cup viewing party at your home. You can also send evites. If you send evites, be sure to include the match you will have on television, and ask your guests to arrive at least 30-45 minutes before the match starts so that it will give everyone a chance to settle in so that guests are not walking back and forth through the viewing area during the match.
The key to any successful sports party is the food. Your guests want to relax while watching their favorite sport and eating good food. Sticking to catered finger foods will certainly make your life easier. You do not have to go overboard with the menu (unless your budget allows it). Most of your guests will be too consumed by the match to fuss over food. If you are going to host many viewing parties, you can stick to the essentials for your menu such as:
- Chips and dip
- Fruit platter
- Vegetable platter
- Various types of chips (potato chips, Doritos, etc)
- Cookies and other desserts
However, if you will only be hosting one or two viewing parties (or you can afford to have the following at all of your viewing parties), you can certainly go all out and include:
- Small sandwiches
- Spring rolls
The main serving utensils you will need are plastic plates, cups, and forks. Be sure to also have enough napkins and paper towels for any spills or cleanup.
This should be the most obvious, but it is important that you have a large enough viewing area where your guests can be comfortable. Make room on the couch and floor, and be sure to have enough seating for everyone coming. Also, if possible, have a screen large enough for everyone to be able to clearly see. It will be hard for your guests to enjoy the games if they are squinting from the back of the room. If you have multiple televisions in your home, you can have the same game streaming on different screens in order to accommodate a larger crowd of guests.
Date and time
The World Cup is a one month long event, so you need to keep in consideration when you want to have your viewing party and how often. If you are as much of a soccer or futbol fan as I am, you will be hosting viewing parties very frequently. It might be difficult to get everyone together to watch some of the matches held during the day, including the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on June12, but some of the most highly anticipated matches will take place in the evenings after work hours and on the weekends. Decide how often you want to host a party. I will be hosting a viewing party every Saturday, as well on the evenings, especially for the highly anticipated Group G matches involving Germany, Portugal, Ghana, and the United States. There are three matches each day during the group stages, so turn your weekends into a marathon viewing party. You can have your guests arrive in time for the early first match, and they can still until the end of the last match of the day.
There is no specific way to host your viewing party. Do what is most comfortable for you and your guests, but the most important thing to remember is to have fun. Don’t let the planning stress you out or take away from the event. Whichever team you are rooting for, be sure to enjoy the experience. The FIFA World Cup is an event we only get to experience once every four years, so make sure that you enjoy as many matches as you can.