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Friday, June 14, 2024

Throw a Super Bowl party on a college budget

Getting invited to a Super Bowl is almost equally important and American as watching the Super Bowl. The event isn’t just about the two best teams in football squaring off. It is about where you are watching, with what company and what food is being served. College students aren’t equipped with the biggest venue or budget to throw a huge soiree, but over my college years I have hosted a successful Super Bowl party.

Who’s who

The Super Bowl guest list is comprised of a mixture of people.

1. The sports fanatic

There are the dedicated sports fans who know the Super Bowl is in New Orleans featuring the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. They know that it is the last game Ray Lewis will play in before his retirement, and they know the controversial switch in 49ers quarterbacks from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick. They also will be able to spew off the fact that this is the first time two brothers will face each other as head coaches.

2. The ad addicts

Then there are the commercial fans. They could care less about what marker the pig skin is on. All they care about is what beer commercial is the wittiest, did Coca Cola outdo Pepsi and what fan won the Doritos challenge. They can’t wait for a timeout to be called so the multimillion dollar 30 second clips can be aired.

3. Music to their ears

The music fans can’t wait to scrutinize the performance of the National Anthem and the lip syncing of the half time show. They await another Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction or Madonna cameo. They are all ears as soon as the music starts.

4. Party people

Finally there are the socialites. They don’t care about what is on the television at all. Instead they schmooze from couch to couch and are excited to be at a social event. They are the spirited ones who provide a positive vibe to a party environment because they are always looking for a good time.

It is important to incorporate a mixture of these personalities to a Super Bowl party in order to get a comfortable setting for everyone. Make sure to invite a number of people that matches the size of the venue.

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Location, location, location

Decide among your group of friends who has the largest television and living room area. You want all of your guests to be comfortable and have the option to sit and relax. You don’t want people to feel crowded and you don’t want there to be too much open space. Ask your neighbors or party guests to bring extra chairs or folding tables if needed. If you aren’t holding the party, offer to help set up and clean up. If you are the one hosting, recruit a few friends to help you arrange furniture.

Dig in

There are a few options of how to divide up who is bringing what. If you can prepare everything by yourself, just ask your guests to chip in some money to cover the cost. Serving for a crowd can get pricy.

If you aren’t a good preparer and are just stuck hosting because you have the best house, make a Google document, invite your guests to it and prepare the party to be a potluck. Ensure to include utensils, plates, cups and napkins. Make sure different types of chips, dips and desserts are provided.

Decide whether you are serving a meal or just finger foods. If doing a main course, sub platters or pizza are the easiest routes to take. If it is a finger food only event, make sure there are a variety of cold and warm appetizers, healthy and unhealthy. Vegetable, cheese and fruit platters are convenient but can be pricy. Buying the same precut vegetables or fruits and making your own platter can be more time consuming but less expensive. It is easiest to set the food up buffet style so guests can help themselves throughout the game.

If you and your guests are of age, making the event BYOB satisfies everyone. You won’t have to worry about serving multiple types of drinks or brands.

Regardless of the route chosen, make sure someone signs up to bring ice. It is always a forgotten yet necessary item for whatever is filling your red solo cups.


The party store or Walmart will have decorations suitable for a low budget. Buying napkins or cups with footballs on them or choosing a team and using the team colors is quick and inexpensive. If you decide to partake in a pool, buy a white poster board and markers for your guests to fill in. If you aren’t into betting seriously, give everyone a slip of paper and have them write down their guess of the final score and MVP. It will be funny to see who is closest at the end of the game. In reality it is more about who is there and the food than an extravagant centerpiece.


The most important part of throwing a party is making sure you as well as your guests are having a good time. Don’t fret over throwing away every napkin while the party is taking place. Just relax and enjoy friends and football.

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