It’s that time of the year again, draft time.
Thinking about hosting a live draft this year? Here are some options on where and when to host a live draft:
Not too early, not too late. Let me explain.
You want to host the draft as close to week one as possible, without going past the date. This way, you’ll avoid any preseason injuries or suspensions. In the past, any time between week 2 of preseason and week 1 of regular season seems to be the sweet spot.
Great, nice and easy. Lets get to the good part
In my years of playing fantasy football, my league has transformed from an online draft (BORING) to a live drat (FUN). But, there are many different places to host, lets go through a few.
- The good old sports bar
Beer, food, and fantasy football, what could be better? This is a great place to host your first fantasy draft. There is always a great atmosphere around you, sports games, great food, and (hopefully) a good looking wait staff. In all likelihood, you won’t be the only ones drafting there, so be sure to book your draft early. Nowadays, many sports bars even have draft day deals. Some include a fixed rate for food and drinks for around 3-4 hours, which should be long enough for you to finish your draft.
- Good Food
- Good Atmosphere
- Little to no work
- Not too expensive
- Sometimes a little loud
- Usually the technical support is poor (No outlets or projectors)
- Not too unique
- Seating may be difficult
Overall, a sports bar is a good place to host your first live draft, as long as your league doesn’t bitch about paying a little extra cash for the experience.
2. The closest hotel
Have a nearby Marriott or Hilton nearby? Usually, the bigger hotels have tons of conference rooms to host your draft. Through my experience, many of them have a few options with different costs and experiences. The more players in the league, the bigger room you go for, simple. Most options have menus to order food and drinks, as well as room packages if your planning on rosterbating later that night.
- Little to no work
- Secluded area for your league
- Technical support (Outlets, projectors, microphones)
- Great seating
- Can be expensive ($40-50 per person excluding the rooms)
- Not the best party atmosphere
The hotel option is great for the corporate league or the more serious league, but don’t expect there to be much of a football atmosphere.
3. The football stadium
One or the more appealing options here. Imagine drafting your favorite players while sitting in the stadium they play in, pretty cool huh? Yes this is an awesome experience for the true football fan. In my experience, I have seen stadiums create fantasy draft packages for leagues. Typically, they will host you in one of the skybox areas with all the food and drinks you want. This is great, but does come with a hefty price tag.
- Great atmosphere to draft
- Great technical support
- Great food and drink options
- Very expensive (around $70-$100 per person)
- May be a far commute from home
- Maybe too distracting for your league
Again, this is a great choice for the more serious or corporate league with a little twist. If you’re playing with die hard football fans then I suggest exploring this option. The stadium staff are very accommodating and may even throw in some discounting game tickets if you do it right!
4. Right in your backyard
We conclude our list with, in my opinion, the best option. What is better than hosting the draft in your own backyard? You have full control over the draft and the people admitted. Set up some NFL draft style table seating and serve some pizza and heroes and get right to it. This is a great option for the casual league filled with life long friends. For my league, we have had the draft in our backyard for many years. Each year we add in something new. This year we hired a videographer to capture the event, as well as added a backdrop and podium to add authenticity. Be creative and have fun!
- Creative and original
- Close by
- More of a party atmosphere
- Not as flashy
- Usually a lot of work for the host
Good luck with your draft this year! If you have any comments or questions, feel free to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org