Friends watching the game

Watching your favourite sports team clobber the competition is a fun past-time all year ’round. And it’s even more fun when you can share the experience with family and friends. You might set up the living room or basement with a big screen TV or projector, delicious spread of food, and a flowing supply of drinks to gather for the big game. Or, if the weather is in your favour, you might even venture outside. Wherever you plan to gather, there are great tech items for game day that are worth having in your set-up.

From football to baseball, hockey to curling, basketball to volleyball and more, whether you’re rooting for an athlete who is about to set touchdown records or cheering for your home country’s soccer team, the passion, thrill, and excitement of the game is the perfect way to bring people together, and lift spirits.

Invite family members, friends, neighbours, and anyone else who shares in your love of the sport, or who simply loves to gather for a good time, and use the game as an excuse to spend time together. Before sending out the invites, here are some great tech items to ensure your watch party is a success.

Watching sports made easy with the right tech and appliances

There are two things you need to have a great indoor sports party: great big screen TV and audio system to put your guest in the moment and great snacks.

Surround them with the action

When it comes to catching the action, as they say, the bigger, the better. A nice big screen TV can really bring you right into the action. You’ll get the most out of it by going big, so if your room accommodates it, consider a TV that’s 75 inches or larger to really pack a viewing punch.

Don’t discount the need for great accompanying audio as well, which can be achieved by a full surround system (including Atmos or DTS:X so you can hear sounds from above, too!) You can also achieve a full surround effect with a really great premium soundbar that offers multiple channels. With the inclusion of a subwoofer, you can hear every boom and roar of the crowd, the music, and the announcers.

JBL Soundbar lifestyle photo

Serve up delicious eats

Watching sports with a big group and a delicious spread of snacks are synonymous: you can’t have one without the other. Some favourites, of course, include chicken wings, spring rolls, pizza rolls, potato chips, French fries, and vegetables and dip.

Do you need an air fryer?

Most of the best sports-centric snacks can be made in an air fryer much more quickly than in an oven since you don’t have to worry about preheating. Plus, you can avoid having to fry goodies like mozzarella sticks and French fries in loads of oil. Whether you popped over to the grocery store and grabbed a bunch of frozen goodies or you’re going all out with homemade items, an air fryer can handle the cook for the majority of your spread. Since getting my air fryer, I haven’t made French fries, chicken nuggets, or other frozen snacks, in anything but.

Hamilton Beach slow cooker

Maybe you want to serve your famous chili, which you love to let simmer on the stove all day before guests arrive. Consider making it in a slow cooker or, if you are willing to try it, using the chili mode on a multicooker like the Instant Pot. It can not only save you time but also serves as a spot for the chili to sit until you’re ready to serve without you having to keep a stove burner on low for hours.

Panasonic rice cooker

If you’re serving up a full meal, rice is always a great, not to mention, filling, side dish that goes with just about anything. A rice cooker can make getting a big batch done in a jiffy a breeze. And if you run out, you can dump in some more, add the water or stock, and let the appliance do its thing while you don’t miss a second of the big events.

Ivation bar fridgeBar accessories help make you a good watch party host

What’s a party without some drinks? You need to have something in your hand to thrust into the air, after all, when your team or favourite athlete does something noteworthy.

Bar & wine accessories of all kinds are worth considering to make it easy for all of your guests to get the drinks they want.

If most of your guests like drinking beer or cold sodas while watching the on-screen action, a bar fridge will come in handy. Not only will it keep the drinks close by so no one has to miss out on a pivotal moment, but it will also prevent your main refrigerator door from being open and closed constantly, thus letting the cold air out. Plus, you can keep extra snacks in there to refill things like a charcuterie platter, fruit, chip dip, and more.

There are lots of affordable and compact options that can sit behind a bar in your basement, or even in the corner of the room of a den or garage. Consider getting one with a top freezer so guests who have traveled from far away can blast chill their beers that got warm in the car and crack open a bottle quicker.

Popcorn and sports go hand-in-hand

Popcorn machineYou can buy all types of popcorn from the grocery story, but just like with the ice cream truck, popping corn in your own machine results in a product that tastes different. You can’t explain why or how, it just does. Not to mention that having a popcorn maker in your home to serve guests is just downright cool.

Go the nostalgic route with a floor-standing popcorn maker that will remind guests of when they went to the movies or carnivals as kids, or, opt for smaller, tabletop models like the ones you see at movie theatres.

Man playing Arcade 1Up NFL BlitzSports-themed video games

When the sporting events are over, it doesn’t mean the gathering has to end. Get inspired by all the great sports, teams, and athletes you just watched by playing some sports-themed video games. You can play these on a popular gaming console or even invest in a retro gaming system, like an arcade machine. If your set-up is in a basement, this is the perfect addition to the room that you’ll end up using all year ’round, whether there’s a game on or not.

Friends who need to blow off some steam when their team just made a massive mistake that could cost them the game will enjoy playing a round or two.

From baseball to basketball, hockey to soccer, there are video games that let you pretend to be in on the action of virtually any sport you can imagine. You can even get more adventurous by adding VR headsets and games to the mix.

Bocce BallEngage in your own sports and recreation activities

Go one step further when the weather is good enough and engage in your own sports and recreational activities. Set up some outdoor games while everyone is still in the competitive spirit. A universal favourite is bocce ball, which can be played individually or in teams, letting you have your own tournament.

There are indoor rec room games you can play beyond video games, too, like billiards. Or, simply up some speakers, mood smart lighting, and a great playlist and keep the Soozier billiards tableparty going long after the game has ended.

Cheer your team on with friends and family 

No matter what sport you’re in, or even if you simply love using sports as an excuse to gather with friends and family, it’s easy to get into every game. The thrills, intense action, and anticipation is always exciting. But it’s even more exciting when you get to do it with friends.

You don’t need much: just a nice spread of food, abundant drinks, some activities, and the events and action on a gorgeous high-definition television. Add the great company, and you’re ready for a day or night of intense competition, uplifted spirits, and plenty of thrills.

Check out lots of home living gear that can help you get set to entertain for game day at Best Buy Online.

Christine Persaud
With 20+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism, I have covered the tech space since before social media was a "thing" and the smartphone as we know it was even invented. Writing for various technology, lifestyle, and entertainment sites, I have covered and reviewed hundreds of tech products, from home appliances to wearables, fitness tech to headphones, TV entertainment products and services, and more. I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV show fanatic (happy to give what to watch recommendations!), and proud mother to a 12-year-old son.