Sports bars: the perfect hangout for anyone who enjoys sporting action plus a few cold beers to accompany them while they follow the events out on the diamond, grid or other sporting venue.
But how did the first sports bar come about in the first place? There’s some dispute as to the first actual sports bar. The sports bar Legends opened in Long Beach, California, in 1979, and was the creation of Dennis Harrah, a former LA Rams offensive lineman.
Before that, however, a family-run sports bar called Palermo’s, in St Louis, which existed long before Legends. The bar was in operation as early as the 1930s. Some consider it to be the first real sports bar.
What should a sports bar have to become a success, though? This post looks at the different features necessary for a sports bar to thrive in the sports bar industry.
Why visit a sports bar?
Sports bars are awesome places to catch your favorite sports. That’s the point of them. Step into a sports bar that knows its onions and you should be able to watch NFL, baseball and a host of other popular sports. A sports bar that doesn’t give you plenty of variety in this regard isn’t much of a sports bar, to say the least.
Here are few other features that any sports bar worth its salt should have:
Lots of TVs within the line of vision of customers
Customers don’t want to be struggling to see a TV, so the bar should have multiple screens. If they can’t see at least two TVs from where they’re sitting or can’t see the titles on the screen, the sports bar is doing something wrong. The bar needs to set up more TVs or review the placement of the TVs it already has.
High-quality TV sets
Having lots of well-positioned TV sets alone isn’t enough, though. The TV sets should be of good quality so that the customers can enjoy the games. Poor definition and colors will ruin their entertainment, so the bar should make sure the TVs are high definition and the screens are wide for customers to see what’s happening on the screen clearly.
Don’t forget that customers might not just be going to watch the game for entertainment, but also potentially be betting on the action. They’ll appreciate being able to log into the Wi-Fi instead of using their own data, whether it’s to check NBA odds and then lay a bet down or simply just to see how other important games or sports events are going.
Comfortable seats and other furniture are essential. The guests will be staying for at least a couple of hours. If the furniture isn’t up to scratch, they’ll soon feel it and won’t want to leave with aches and pains. Furniture can be a point of differentiation for a sports bar.
It’s just good business sense to set up a sports bar in a good location. Ideally, the establishment should operate in an area that has lots of sports fans. Locations near college and university campuses are a popular choice for this.
Few sports fans are going to visit a sports bar, drink water and then drive home. This means the bar, if possible, should be near transport links so that visitors can drink as much alcohol as they see fit and then take public transport home.
A wide selection of beers
A decent sports bar should have an interesting selection of beers on tap and on bottle. Craft beers are going to become more important, so if a bar can’t adjust its draft lines, it should have plenty of different bottled beers for fans to try. Attention to detail in the beer menu will add to the experience for customers.
Since guests are likely to spend at least a couple of hours in the sports bar, the establishment should offer some excellent catering. Popcorn is a must, as are chicken wings, but the bar should also place burgers, pizzas and other cooked meals on the menu. Quality is crucial. If customers can’t eat or drink well when they visit, they won’t come back.
Sure, the purpose of a sports bar is to catch a game or other sports event you can’t get to live or, for some other reason, aren’t able to view. But as exciting as sports are, some events can be real snoozers, so the bar should provide some entertainment options, such as pool, darts, video games or table football. Guests can then stay entertained until something that does capture their interest comes onto the screen.
Sports bars are a superb venue to follow sporting action and to meet up with friends for a couple of drinks and socialize. Good sports will boast the simple features above so that guests can relax in comfort and revel in the action on the screens without lousy seating, poor screen positioning and other annoyances diminishing their enjoyment.