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NFL homegating offers an enjoyable experience for everyone – whether you’re a die-hard fan, casual viewer, or an avid host – you get the tradition and ritual of a stadium tailgate in the comfort of home. With the growing popularity of homegating, it comes as no surprise that 70 percent of viewers prefer watching the game with family and friends at home.
Levi’s Stadium may be home to the biggest Super Bowl 50 party this Sunday, but here are 5 tips to throwing the ultimate homegate party right in your living room!
1. Be a well-informed host.
American Football Conference champion, Denver Broncos meets National Football Conference champion, Carolina Panthers at the 50th edition of the Super Bowl this Sunday February 7th.
The pre-show starts at 4 p.m., and the kick-off at 6:30 p.m. Plan on having guests arrive early!
This will be Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning’s fourth appearance at the Super Bowl, and Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton’s first. With a 14-year age gap, it will be hard to ignore the veteran versus the rookie undertone of Sunday’s game.
Throughout the 2015 regular season, the Carolina Panthers demonstrated their strength offensively, while the Broncos held their position at the top of most defensive categories.
2. Feed your team!
Food at Super Bowl parties is just as important as the sporting event itself! Recognizing this, the NFL launched the NFL Homegating app for both iOS and Android. The app is filled with unique twists on tailgating classics: from buffalo wings, hot dogs, dips and chili, to pb&j finger sandwiches, BBQ sloppy Joes, charcuterie and cheeseboards, to football themed pastries and cakes!
For the culinary disinclined, Herrera’s Fine Dining and Catering has special pub-style catering menus to choose from. Prairie Girl Bakery offers customized cakes, cookies, tarts, brownies and cupcakes. Surprise your guests with a post-game football themed dessert!
And, don’t shy away from serving with style! Set up your dishes buffet-style on football-shaped cutting boards, tableware and platters.
Tip: Plan ahead and ask if your guests have any allergies or dietary restrictions!
3. Stock up your bar!
Nothing pairs with football quite like a cold beer. Consider adding a variety of mini-kegs or a beer sampling tray to your bar setup.
For the cocktail-enthusiast, try creating two signature cocktails (or a punch bowl). Go one step further and coordinate your cocktails with the colours of the teams by using different spirits, liqueurs and garnishes!
For the Broncos think orange hued cocktails: screwdriver, tequila sunrise, and Aperol sour.
For the Panthers think blue tinged cocktails: blue margarita, blue peach martini, berry blue-tini.
Don’t forget to provide nonalcoholic options as well!
Tip: When planning how much to purchase, a good rule to follow is a six-pack per person. Consider putting out a cooler to ensure the beer stays frosty!
4. Set up the play.
Besides the big-screen TV and good sound system (even consider portable speakers to turn up the volume), it would be nothing without football themed décor. Create a spacious viewing area that allows for movement, access to the TV, and comfortable seating. Consider outfitting your couch with team inspired pillows and throws.
Don’t be afraid to personalize your team-themed decorating with streamers, balloons, wall decals and signs, football gear, posters and flags. If you prefer a Super Bowl 50 theme, Party City has everything from Super Bowl 50 plates to football stadium snack-trays.
Tip: Set-up a kid’s area for any guests bringing their children, complete it with mini-footballs, games and colouring sheets.
5. Push it over the goal line!
Go above and beyond with customized, hardcopy Super Bowl ticket invitations. If you don’t have enough time to mail them out to friends and family, use evite.com to create your invitations.
Consider making a music playlist for unplanned interruptions and commercial breaks.
Make goodie bags for your guests to take home, filling them with team colour candies, chocolates, a bag of popcorn and a bottle of water.
For the hosting disinclined, you can enjoy the game with friends, family and fellow-fans at local bars that are rising to the occasion to bring you an epic Super Bowl party.
Watch the game at the landmark The Jersey Giant Pub & Restaurant in the heart of St. Lawrence and Olde Town Toronto.
For a country-style Super Bowl party (read: tailgate pig roast) try Boots & Bourbon Saloon.
Looking for the towering big screens and multiple HD angles? Go to the Shark Club.
Want a more laid-back atmosphere, with an extensive draft beer selection – try Betty’s.
Happy football viewing, (wherever you choose to watch)!
 Taken from a 2016 survey conducted by hhgregg, Inc.
 Balloon Queen, 420 Queen Street East.