If you’re like nearly 13 million other Americans, you’re getting excited. You’re keeping an eye on NFL training camps to see who’s exceeding expectations and who pulled up with a nagging hamstring issue.
It’s almost fantasy football time. Say it with me. Finally!
For many, one of the best moments of the season is when your league gathers in one spot, shares some food and beverages and hashes out its draft.
“It’s about hanging out with my friends in the league and talking about NFL football whilst enjoying a cold beer and some good food,” said Jonny “Saferide” Hines, a longtime league commissioner living in Waverly, Iowa. “It’s different than during the season because it’s new and fresh, and everyone still has a chance to win it all!”
For some, it’s fun to host the draft party in someone’s home. Other leagues like to take it public. As the popularity of fantasy football continues to run rampant each August, sports bars are competing to host your draft party. That means you can score big before the season even starts.
Here are a few draft day locks.
The classic wing joint knows just who its base customers are, and it’s not afraid to lure them in. Here’s what Hooters will put on the table to draw in your war room team:
Draft kit with extra swag: While supplies last, Hooters will give your league a Bleacher Report draft kit with everything you need, including a draft board with player stickers and cheat sheets. You’ll also get Hooters swag, like bottle openers and koozies.
Over $200 in coupons: Hooters isn’t dumb. It wants to you come back and watch every game throughout the season and will provide the coupons to lure you back.
There’s no upfront cost to book your party at Hooters, but restaurants will not throw any food or beverage deals your way.
Dave & Buster’s
It’s Chuck E. Cheese’s for grown-ups. Seriously. Dave & Buster’s is like a sports bar with a giant room full of fun that includes Skee-Ball and video games. Dave & Buster’s knows fantasy football players are fun people, so it wants you to make your picks at its place.
Book and hold your party before Sept. 5, 2018, and you have two options for your draft day get-together at D&B’s:
The Ultimate Draft Party: This package requires at least 10 people and runs for $15.99 per person — but prices do vary for certain locations. Your league gets its choice of three entrees, including wings, nachos, bar burgers, or pretzel dogs. On top of the entrees, you’ll also get french fries.
The Premium Draft Party: This package also requires at least 10 people, but it’s slightly pricier at $25.99 per person. It includes the same entree options and sides, but it also gives each attendee two free drink coupons they can spend on beer, wine or well drinks. One caveat: Your entire party must be 21 or older to book the premium draft party.
Both packages also come with a free draft kit, room rental and Wi-Fi.
Book either package for your league, and Dave & Buster’s will give away $10 in free game play with a $10 game play purchase. Plus, the commissioner gets a free $20 Power Card — it’s good to be the commish. Both cards are valid through Dec. 31, 2018.
Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery
If you’re lucky enough to have a Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery in your neck of the woods, you may want to check it out for your draft party. Here’s what it’ll do to bring you in:
Draft kit: The first 50 draft parties will get a draft kit that includes draft boards, player rosters, Bud Light swag and discount cards for up to 14 people.
Food and drink specials: Your league gets special prices on food and drinks for up to four hours. The offers may vary by location.
Kilt Girl ‘commissioner’: Yep. You get one of the Kilt Girls assigned to your party to help you with the draft. Locations are selling out quickly, so if the Tilted Kilt is your favorite, call a location near you today.
Miller’s Ale House
A staple for those who enjoy a craft beer with their food, Miller’s Ale House doesn’t want to get left on the sidelines.
For $160, your league gets 50 wings, two Zinger Mountain Melts, two orders of nachos, two Bavarian pretzels, two Zinger flatbreads, two orders of fully loaded cheese fries, six pitchers of Miller Lite or Coors Light and a fantasy draft kit.
Keep in mind that you’ve got to book your party at least 24 hours in advance and hold your party by Sept. 5, 2018.
Buffalo Wild Wings
If your league decides to take the party to BWW, you’ll get a draft kit, coupons to use at Buffalo Wild Wings and NFLShop.com, a brag flag for the league champion and a chance to host next year’s draft party at the NFL headquarters in New York City.
Food specials will include a $30 wing deal for 30 traditional wings or 40 boneless wings and shareable deals starting at $60.
You can send a request to book your party online or stop in at your local Buffalo Wild Wings.
The Local Scene
If you don’t want to do the chain sports bar thing for this year’s fantasy draft, I recommend checking out your local craft brewery scene. Some breweries will offer specials for draft parties that are just as good as or even better than what the sports bars have. What could be better than picking up Julio Jones while sipping an IPA made just 20 feet from your seat?
For example, Brew Republic Bierwerks in Woodbridge, Virginia, is offering a platter of grilled wings on the house for leagues who host their draft parties at the taproom Sept. 2-8, 2018. And World of Beer in Destin, Florida, is offering 25% off draft beer pitchers for parties of eight or more.
Craft breweries are cropping up all over the country, so check out your local scene. Even if one in your area isn’t promoting a special, ask the manager if the brewery would consider hosting your league. You could be the trendsetter in your area.
No matter where you hold your draft this year, you should call to reserve your spot now. Preseason games are almost over and injuries are already happening.
Good luck with your season, and may your team name be the most clever in your league.
Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. His fantasy football team, “Hedley’s Froggys,” is destined to dominate this year. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.
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