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Tips for hosting the perfect Super Bowl party, depending on your guest count

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January 30, 2024 // Shutterstock

This story originally appeared on Peerspace and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

Tips for hosting the perfect Super Bowl party, depending on your guest count

Decorations in your team colors and platters of buffalo wings might be Super Bowl party staples, but are you ready to take your party to the next level? On Feb. 11, 2024, Las Vegas will host the Super Bowl for the first time in city history at its newly opened Allegiant Stadium, which means celebrating Sin City will be a popular game-day theme to add extra fun.

"Since the game is in Vegas, we will see more extravagant touches on VIP areas/themes and Casino Royale themes. Casino game-style setup will be a popular one," said Party Hero co-founder Shannon Crist about this year's most prevalent Super Bowl party theme. "The Vegas vibe with taking 'bets' and predictions on anything and everything will be a centerpiece of the party. Making prediction cards like these gets everyone excited and involved regardless of what team they are rooting for."

If you're throwing a Super Bowl party this year, going all-in on the Vegas theme can make your party memorable. But remember, the most important thing for hosts is keeping your guests comfortable, fed, and hydrated. Crist and her Party Hero co-founder Brie Gebhardt have seen the "over the top" party trend fading and replaced with "thoughtful, meaningful, and intentional experiences."

The centerpiece of any football viewing party is the TV, so no matter the guest count, your #1 priority should be making sure you've got great reception and sound, and that there is space for everyone to see. And definitely don't run out of food and drinks, because let's be real, many of your guests will just be there to eat, drink, and watch Usher's halftime show (especially if you're throwing a big party).

Ready to plan an unforgettable Super Bowl party? Peerspace interviewed experts, scoured the web, and found tips on hosting the perfect Super Bowl party, whether your guest count is five to 10 people, 20 to 40, or a 50-plus-guest extravaganza.

Three men cheering on couch in sports clothing.
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gpointstudio // Shutterstock

Small and intimate: 5 to 10 people

A Super Bowl party doesn't have to be an extravagant blowout. In fact, sometimes it's more fun if the get-together is smaller because everyone is sure to have a great seat, plus chatter or crowding won't drown out the sound of the game. You can still go all out with the food, drinks, and games while sharing quality moments with friends and family.

For a Super Bowl party with five to 10 guests, making a football-inspired snack board is an excellent way to be festive and offer a variety of foods all in one. You can get creative with the presentation, but beige foods like pretzels, crackers, and Chex Mix tend to sculpt the best football, and green fruits and veggies can surround it like turf. Serve with an easy ranch dip or hummus for an even better snacking experience. Football cake pops, a football calzone, and football finger sandwiches are some other fun football-themed snacks you can make.

Hosting a smaller party also means you can get more creative with your drink menu. If you want themed cocktails but don't want to be playing bartender all night, consider pre-making cocktail and mocktail pouches in both teams' colors.

"[Accommodating] the guest that does not drink will go a long way," Gebhardt added. "It's a great touch for everyone to enjoy and also ensures the guest without alcohol will not stand out in the small group."

Adding in some games can make a Super Bowl party more interactive. For something this size, you can keep it simple while playing on the Vegas theme by setting up Super Bowl Squares, commercial bingo (all about the items in the famed Super Bowl commercials), and predictions cards.

Bengals fans gather in a recreation room of an apartment building to watch the Super Bowl LVI.
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Jon Cherry // Getty Images

Midsized and memorable: 20 to 40 people

If you're hosting a midsized Super Bowl party with 20 to 40 people, "it's all about the logistics," Gebhardt advised. "This size gathering is often when the basic things get overlooked that leave the host scrambling during the party," so make sure to prepare and plan as much as you can ahead of time by doing little things like stocking the bathroom and hanging a sign on the front door inviting guests to come in without knocking.

Make sure you've got plenty of seating both for TV viewing and for eating and drinking, and get creative if your current setup isn't large enough to fit everyone. Bean bag chairs, ottomans, foldable chairs, and even pillows make great alternative seat options when you're in a pinch.

Football-themed food is always a fun idea, but let's be honest: No one wants to bake 80 football-shaped cake pops. A large football-shaped cake might be more doable though! If you're feeling really crafty, you can make a stadium-shaped snack tray that festively holds all your chips, dips, veggies, sliders, or whatever you choose to fill it, while sticking to the theme.

If you're not feeling crafty, no worries, you can always purchase football and stadium-themed plates, cups, and/or snack containers instead of going the DIY route. Some go-to Super Bowl recipes that won't take forever to prepare are nachos, chili, pizza, sliders, wings, and dips—basically, anything you can make in a big batch and let people serve themselves! The same goes for drinks: You'll want plenty of beer, water, and sodas on hand, but you can also up the drink game with batch cocktails.

With this many people at the party, chances are not everyone will be glued to the TV analyzing every play-by-play, but you can keep even non-football fans engaged with games of your own! Take the Vegas theme a step further by setting up your own "casino" where guests can pick and choose what games and bets they want to participate in.

Fans react as they watch the San Francisco 49ers play the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl LIV.
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Philip Pacheco // Getty Images

The gang's all here: 50 or more people

If you're hosting a Super Bowl party with more than 50 guests, you're probably already preparing to go all out. Make sure you have multiple viewing areas and seating spread out so people have a seat to watch the action. If you only have one area with a TV, you could rent a projector and screen and set up another room with chairs, bean bags, pillows, and whatever else you can find to make for comfortable viewing. For those showing up for the social fun and less of the football, you can also set up seating areas away from the TV or even outside for lounging and chatting. 

If you're a big fan of one of the teams, decorating the space with your team's colors and logo is a must. If you're not a diehard fan but know that many guests are, you could decorate with both teams in mind, or you could lean into the Vegas theme and pick casino or VIP-type decor. Another option is to go a more timeless route by using a color palette with green, white, black, and brown and accent with generic football decorations. A bonus for frugal hosts is that these can be used again for future Super Bowl parties.

For a party this size, you can save stress and request guests bring dishes. A concessions theme will no doubt bring on the nachos, wings, pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, hamburgers, and chili. Set up a "concessions table" and let guests add their goodies to it. When it comes to drinks, buying in bulk and batching cocktails will make your life much easier. Or you can go the tailgating route and ask guests to BYOB.

The big game will be the centerpiece of your party, but having more to do can make the party more fun and interactive for the less diehard fans in the crowd. You can set up a "casino" or simply pass out games like predictions and commercial bingo, but it's also good to have activities set up that aren't focused around the football game at all like cornhole or a DIY photo booth.

Crist also suggested setting up a "game face" station "that gives guests some basic supplies to show some spirit. Face paint, fake tattoos, stickers, body glitter … it's all set up on a table with a mirror for guests to get game-ready during the pre-show."

Story editing by Carren Jao. Copy editing by Tim Bruns. Photo selection by Clarese Moller.

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