You did it. You finally worked up the nerve to go to your very first sports event. Whether you’re an avid sports watcher or someone who barely knows what a touchdown is, it can be an exciting event to join a big group of people and cheer on your school. But there are a couple of factors that go into attending a sports event.
1. Make sure to check the weather/temperature
This is a big one. If you’re going to a football game, there are many different types of weather such as humid, rain, or even snow. Always check three to four hours in advance as that can be the typical length of a game. Also, if you’re in an indoor arena, carry a jacket with you just in case. It could be hot in the arena, or it could freezing. Last semester, I ended up leaving my jacket in my room before I went to a hockey game and I was freezing the entire time. It can be pretty hard to watch the game if you’re shivering.
2. Wear the proper attire
It’s a bit related to weather, but it’s also related to team spirit. Try to keep up with the crowd attire such as if there is going to be a red out where everyone in the stands wears red. It can embarrassing to stand in a large crowd wearing a different color of clothing than everyone else. Also, make sure to not wear the opposing team’s color unless you’re truly on their side. In some schools where there are big college rivalries, that can be pretty ugly. But there isn’t really a true uniform. If you’re wearing a shirt you got for free, a sweatshirt, or just a hat, you’re showing some type of school spirit
3. Proper placement in the stands
If you don’t particularly care where you sit or stand throughout the game, pick a spot that’s going to be comfortable. But also plan ahead depending on where you pick. If sitting in the front row is a goal of yours, it’s best to arrive earlier than the game, which depending on the size of your school could be anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. It sounds like true dedication, but if it’s a big game that day, you won’t be the only one wait. Once you get into the stadium or arena, make sure that you aren’t blocking anyone’s view or you aren’t being blocked. This can include standing up with ten rows of people behind you or vice versa. It’s best to go with the flow with the rest of the crowd as they’ll probably be just as excited about a goal as you are and will stand up around the same time you will.
This is a big challenge for me as I don’t want to miss parts of the game, but I also want to have nachos in my hand at a moment’s notice. A tip I’ve learned is not to go at the very beginning of half time unless you’re less than 30 seconds away from concessions. If you can’t see it, you’re too far. Most of the people at the event want to get food at the time as they also don’t want to miss the game, and that will lead to lines wrapping around the shack. You don’t want to spend your entire break waiting in line, so either go a little bit before the break, or right before the next part of the game starts. That way you’ll either get ahead of the crowd or you’ll have the chance to jump to the front of the line once everyone else gives up and goes back to the game.
5. Know where your friends are
If you’ve decided to go with a group of friends, then you have the idea of having a great time. But it can also be a stress one. If you’re meeting at the event, make sure to meet outside if possible. It can be extremely hard to try to find people in a crowd where you can barely hear anything because of the people and you won’t be able to spot them right away as they will blend into the crowd that’s all wearing the same color. Also, try to travel in smaller groups. It can make things like going to the restroom room or concessions easier and you won’t have to worry about someone getting lost.
These are only a few tips that I’ve learned throughout my time as a sports watcher. It can be exciting and stressful at times, but it can all be worth it when you watch your team score that touchdown or make that goal.