With the NFL season rapidly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about fantasy football. Not just whether or not it’s worth taking Jimmy Graham with your late second-round pick, but where you and your league are going to hold your fantasy draft. There are plenty of sports bars that are willing to provide space and WiFi, and some will even toss free food and drinks your way.
BlackFinn is offering three incentives to draft-party planners: A draft board and other necessary supplies; access to the bar’s seasonal football menu (wing platters, discounted 100-ounce beer towers) and $10 gift cards that are valid on any Sunday or Monday during the regular season. There’s no charge to reserve space, but they do ask that you bring a minimum of eight people.
Buffalo Wing Factory
Virginia’s four Buffalo Wing Factory locations are all ready to host draft parties – they even provide a free “Draft Kit” with a board, highlighters, pads, Post-It notes and all the tools. (If you’re drafting with a laptop, there’s free WiFi, too.) Call in advance, because every reservation also includes a free appetizer platter for the group to share. Just don’t plan to host your draft on a Thursday: That’s the chain’s popular all-you-can-eat wing night, and no reservations are taken.
Though it’s best known as a place to watch football during the regular season, both locations of Public Bar can function as fantasy draft locations. The large booths boast tables wide enough for laptops, and come complete with outlets for charging laptops and iPads. Just make sure you make reservations on weeknights or at off hours to avoid the crowds.
Ventnor Sports Cafe
For fantasy draft parties, Ventnor Sports Cafe turns its upstairs bar into a private conference room, with one long table, a projection screen and plenty of outlets for charging laptops. There’s no charge to reserve the room, which comes with its own server, but the number of slots are limited, since Ventnor will let your draft party run as long as you want. “We have one group of guys that’s been coming here for years,” says owner Scott Auslander. “They all come in around 1 [p.m.] on Sunday, and their wives come by to pick them up around midnight.”