9 Reasons Watching the Game at a Sports Bar is Better Than at the Stadium

A debate that’s getting more and more heated as technology gets better is the old battle between going to the game in person or watching at a sports bar. Unless it’s a monumental game, I’m going to the bar every time. The electricity isn’t quite the same, but all the peripheral benefits are much, much better. So before you pack up the wagon and take the crew to the stadium, consider rolling your ass down to a bar, where you can probably have more fun for less than the price of parking at the stadium.

9. The View
While nothing compares with a courtside view of a basketball game, most people have a tendency to romanticize the virtue of being at a game. For example, with pro football, you simply can’t see all the intricacies that you can on TV. Let the TV network do the heavy lifting for you so you don’t go cross-eyed trying to figure out if that playfake was real or not. You get replays, you get slo-mo. In short, when you’re watching on a big TV, you get to know what happened. Not so much in person.

8. The Booze
Hope you like warm Bud Light. I’m not the type of person to complain about the beer selection at a sporting event, but everyone likes a choice, so if I had to choose between a fully stocked bar or plastic cups of flat light beer, I’m going for the bar. These days, stadium selections are getting drastically better, but still can’t compete with even modest bars. Especially if you’re not lucky enough to be on the club level, or whatever they call it at your venue.
7. The Food
Ditto for food. Stadium food has gotten better, but it’s still on par with a fast food outlet. Most any sports bar will be able to beat a stadium in both quality and variety. You should be able to get nachos that don’t have that industrial cheese sauce, and pizza that was actually baked this week. No heat lamps is a good thing. I like a good hot dog every once I a while, but if I’m a season ticket holder, I’m going to get pretty sick of hot dogs a quarter of the way through the season. I understand why stadiums can’t provide a decent spread, but that’s why I’ll go with a sports bar.

6. Variety
If you were a Cowboys fan this season, then you should appreciate this one. There’s nothing worse than being dialed into a game where your team is getting massacred and having nowhere else to focus your attention. Fortunately, at a sports bar, you can simply swivel your head 5 degrees and watch a new game. Pretty sweet. Sports bars have enough TVs to match the attention span for the new millennium. Further, if there are two game on at the same time, you don’t have to choose. Stadiumgoers don’t have that luxury.

5. Service
The sublime pleasure of having a waitress is never more apparent than it is as you miss the 2nd half kickoff because you’re waiting in line to pick up two beers and a pack of peanuts. (And make no mistake, you will have to wait in two separate lines for those two things.) There’s the flirting, the banter, and the realization that if you were wearing an adult diaper, you wouldn’t have to leave your seat at all for 8 hours. Pretty sweet. Of course, some stadiums have waiters, but you have to mortgage your house to get those seats, so let’s not include those.

4. Socializing
Going to a sporting event is a lot like going to church. People take their teams so seriously that much of the fun of sport manages to get lost along the way. Sports bars have a more casual fan. This can be a bad thing if you take the game more seriously than most, but if you’re a normal person that doesn’t see a sports result as the end of the world or the key to your happiness, not having dead-serious sports fans surrounding you is probably a good thing. You can take a shot, mingle, laugh at a story or play a practical joke. You try doing any of that stuff at a pro game and you’ll probably end up getting bitten by a face-painted fan. Plus, if you see a group of people flying your colors at a bar, you can actually talk to them. Not so much when you’re at the game.

3. Cost
This is a huge one. Even for a baseball game, you’re looking at costs of near $100 per person. For $100 at a sports bar, you can live like a king. You can eat and drink yourself stupid (with better booze and food, as I mentioned) and still have enough money to buy a round or two for the table. While this might not be the purest reason for going to a sports bar, it’s the most practical for sure. Money is money. If you can spend less and have a better time, why wouldn’t you?

2. Convenience
Parking at some bars can be tough, but even the worst bar isn’t as bad as the best stadium. If I decide right now that I want to watch a game at a sports bar, I can walk to one within 10 minutes. If I want to go to a game, I require about half a day of planning, a tank of gas, and a clear schedule into the night. No contest that a sports bar is much easier to negotiate. Consequently, it’s an easier sell to get your friends to go there than it is coordinate a field trip to the ballpark.

1. Heckling
The best thing about a sports bar vs. being there is the ability to drink too much and heckle other bar patrons about their choice in team, their inability to get a first down, or even just their stupid face. In stadiums, this level of heckling seems to spark riots. Strangely enough, when you’re at a sports bar, even with all the drunkenness, there is a tacit code that allows you to get away with saying wildly inappropriate things. This isn’t a guarantee. You could still get your ass kicked, but you’ll have had a better time doing it than if you were at the game itself.