The University of Michigan held an official viewing party for the National Championship game of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. This makes perfect sense, Michigan was playing in the championship game and naturally the students wanted to watch the game together, as a collective fan base. However, the attendance had to be limited because the school was about to host the Big Ten gymnastics championships and the equipment used for the competition was set up on the floor. This dilemma shows an increasing trend in limiting game watch party attendance, a problem FanWide (@FanWide) solves for sports fans nationwide.
In this instance, limiting the game watch party was done for practical needs, which come up more often than you would think. FanWide can offer an alternative to that which comes unlimited. Still, most of the time when these instances occur, money is a large factor. In a recent article featuring on our blog, we explore why the NHL has tried to limit viewership at these viewing parties. The main conclusion: game watch parties hurt TV ratings, as they count the number of views, not the number of viewers, so game watch parties are sometimes discouraged by broadcasters as they can lower their viewership number. A a similar issue caused the NFL to prohibit the Georgia Dome from holding a Super Bowl party when the Falcons were playing in 2017.
Another aspect of limiting these game watch parties may be hoping to encourage people to go to the games themselves. When fans attend the actual game, they often spend additional money on concessions or merchandise, in addition to their ticket. Of course, going to a game in person is the best way to watch it, but millions of fans people travel, work, or go to school far away from where their teams play. In addition, games are often expensive to attend, especially with the travel involved. Even the official game watch parties, like the one Michigan ran for the finals, was on a first come first serve basis.
Sometimes attendance at the games themselves gets limited as well. Often times for soccer games, particularly big time derby matches, fewer tickets are made available in order to prevent things from getting too rowdy. This even happened just this weekend when Manchester United and Manchester City squared off in the Manchester Derby. A game watch party then becomes one of the only solutions as getting into the stadium becomes that much harder.
Herein lies the beauty of FanWide. With FanWide, you can find viewing parties for all of your favorite teams in an area near you. It cannot get much more fun than hanging out at a sports bar watching your favorite team and surrounded by other fans. You will never have to worry about the prospect of a limited watch party again!