December 16, 2022 by Karl Tessendorf
The FIFA World Cup final is here! France and Argentina are set to battle it out for the ultimate prize, while Croatia and Morocco duke it out for third place. Your football-loving friends at The Mixer have put together this handy guide on hosting an epic World Cup viewing party. We’ve covered all the corners to help you throw a winner with drinks, snacks, décor games, and more.
Looking to watch the World Cup? You’re in good company.
The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. In 2018, over 3.5 billion people tuned in across the globe to watch rival countries compete. The final between France and Croatia alone had an audience of over 1.1 billion.
When you host your World Cup viewing party, you’ll be a part of history because record numbers are expected. FIFA president Gianni Infantino predicted more than 5 billion people would tune in this year. That’s more than half the world’s population watching a single sporting event. It’s a staggering number of people all coming together for the love of football!
What to consider when hosting a World Cup viewing party
The single biggest factor in hosting a World Cup viewing party comes down to your TV and subscription service. First, check, then double-check, then triple-check that everything is in order. If you have installed any new equipment recently, do a few test runs for safety.
If you are streaming the game, check your WIFI connection speed on the day and make sure that it’s stable. In case of any hiccups, a good backup plan is to download your streaming service to your phone. If something happens to the WIFI, you use your mobile data to stream the game and mirror it to the TV. If there’s a critical error and everything fails, have a backup location like a sports bar or pub nearby.
Lastly, do not try and stream the game illegally. It might work for a while, but there’s a good chance it’ll be taken down. Don’t risk being the most unpopular person at your own party.
Everything you need for a FIFA World Cup viewing party
Okay, we’ve covered the bases, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. We want your World Cup viewing party to be the best one ever, so let’s work down the list together and make it happen!
Choose your venue
When picking a venue, two important things to consider are your TV size and available space. If you’re the friend or family member in the circle with the best solution, then you’re set. If there is a better option, chat with a family member or friend and get them on board for the watch party of the century. Your guests need to be comfortable because the final is over 2 hours. Bring in beanbags or cushions if you need to, and make the space more inviting. If you really want to amp up the viewing experience, rent a projector and a big screen. But test, test, test, and test it again before kick-off!
The theme is sorted, so all you need to do is decorate the party. There are two options here. The first is to keep it World Cup in general, meaning all countries with a soccer aesthetic. Think flags, coasters, disposable plates, or even a soccer ball piñata. Your local party shop should have a range of items, or you can order them online.
The other route is to split the décor between France and Argentina. You could even break the room into a French side and an Argentinean side. There’s nothing like friendly rivalry to spice up the event. Stick to the team colors for décor and fill in the rest with soccer-themed party décor.
Food & snacks
With any party, there’s always the temptation to go all out with the food. However, in the case of a World Cup viewing party, it’s better to keep things simple. You don’t want to be preparing dishes or stuck at the grill while the game is on. Finger food with flair is great because it’s simple and easy to clean up.
You can keep it classic with hotdogs, tacos, sliders, hot wings, and snacks or theme the food to the competing countries. For France, you can do cheese and charcuterie boards with fresh baguettes. For Argentina, you could slice big hunks of grilled steak and serve it with a vibrant chimichurri sauce. Order pizza from your local takeout place if you’d rather keep the food prep to an absolute minimum.
Drinks & cocktails
A World Cup final is a thirsty affair, so make sure you’ve got your drinks all worked out. Set an arrival time for your guests at least 45 minutes before kick-off. This not only gives them time to settle in, but it also gives you time to serve a signature drink. A signature cocktail is the perfect way to make your party extra special. If you feel like going all out, you could do two signature drinks—a French 75 and an Argentine cocktail.
As for the rest of the drinks, the simplest approach is to pick cocktails that can be mixed in batches ahead of time. That way, your guests can pour themselves cocktails and just add ice. The Negroni, Sea Breeze, and Moscow Mule are all good cocktails for batch-making. Keep your drinks on ice in coolers and ensure they’re nearby so you don’t miss a crucial moment.
Fun party games to play
Party games are always fun, and with the World Cup final on, you’ve got your theme. Set up a miniature penalty shootout for your guests. Get a soccer ball piñata for the kids. Set up some cones and create a timed ball dribble challenge. You could even offer a selection of prizes and make predictions – like which team will score first, which player will get the first goal, which side will the first yellow card, and what the final score will be. Guests can place bets and win prizes as the game progresses.
The do’s of World Cup viewing party
- Have enough space and seating for your guests to sit comfortably.
- Have enough snacks and finger food.
- Keep your drinks cold and easily accessible.
- Make sure your mobile is fully charged, just in case.
- Have a back-up plan in case the power goes out or the internet crashes.
The don’ts of World Cup viewing party
- Don’t leave anything to the last minute.
- Don’t stream the game illegally.
- Don’t try any new technology or streaming service that you haven’t already tested.
- Don’t over complicate the food.
- Don’t miss the kick-off!