Goodbye summer, hello fall. It seems like just yesterday that I was heading to Comerica Park to watch the Detroit Tigers take on the New York Yankees on Opening Day. Not too long after that, I was hitting golf balls at the driving range trying to find my swing for the summer.
Fast forward to today. It’s currently 71 degrees. Golf season is winding down and there’s less than a month of regular season baseball remaining. The transition from summer to fall is more than underway. That also means football season – fantasy football to be exact – is about to begin.
It’s hard to get mad about the temperatures cooling down when football is on TV. Besides, who needs to go outside when they can stay inside and watch NFL games Monday and Thursday nights and all day on Sunday? With the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos scheduled to kick off the NFL regular season Thursday night (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC), fantasy football season is a day away from starting. For those of you who like to wait until the last possible second to host your draft, you’re in luck.
At first, it might sound like a lot of work. After all, providing food and beverages to a group of 8-12 people can be expensive. However, it doesn’t have to be. Below are some tips to help you host a fantasy football draft on a budget.
Pick a Place
Seems obvious, right? Some people enjoy hosting the entire party at their home while others opt to take the party elsewhere, like a local bar or restaurant. Be sure to check with your local bars/restaurants to see if any deals are available for fantasy drafts. For example, Buffalo Wild Wings and Hooters offer specials for fantasy leagues. Free wings/appetizers are up for grabs as long as a minimum number of players are on hand. Be sure to call ahead to schedule your draft and ask for any discounts you may be eligible to receive.
If you decide you’d rather host the party at your home, keep in mind that you’ll need enough room (a large living room or finished basement are ideal) and that all attendees will need WiFi access.
If the bar/restaurant scene isn’t for your league, you’ve got options when it comes to food. Deciding on what you’re going to provide is the hard part. You could get by ordering some pizzas or chicken wings, or grill burgers and hot dogs. Your best bet is to take a league-wide vote to decide. Some league managers request a certain amount of extra dollars as part of the league fee to cover expenses such as these. Others take on the responsibility of covering the cost. Another option is to have every one bring something to share. Whatever is decided needs to be done so beforehand.
When it comes to beer and liquor, things can get expensive. If you decide to host the draft at a bar/restaurant, participants can pay their own tabs. If the draft is at someone’s house, there are two options. One, make everyone pitch in that certain amount of extra money, or just make it BYOB.
Set a date for league fees to be paid. Make sure everyone’s on the same page when it comes to all the rules regarding the league (trade options, scoring, playoff dates) to avoid confusion down the line. Be sure to identify how any disputes that come up during the season will be handled (league vote is likely the best option).
There you have it. Hosting a fantasy football draft doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little help from everyone involved, everyone can have fun, even with a limited budget.
Does anyone out there have any additional tips on how to host a successful fantasy football draft on a budget? Let us know in the comments section below!