How to host the perfect footy viewing party at home?

Footy is the quintessential winter event, yet as the temperatures plummet, the thought of being exposed to the brisk winter wind up on Level 3 at the G is suddenly far less enticing.

When it’s bitterly cold in the depths of a Melbourne winter, why not host footy night at yours? No bumping against people on the No. 75 tram or fighting for space on the platform at Jolimont Station post-match.

At home, you’re the boss. You can pump up the thermostat or spark up the gas log fireplace for a bit of ambiance. You can dictate the footy snacks, whether it’s cooking homemade pizzas in the oven or grilling up barbecue feast in the backyard or on the gas cooktop. And you can invite all your mates over.

In an effort to help you make the most of the great indoors, we’ve compiled a checklist that will make sure you’ve got everything you need for a toasty night in for the big game.


Set up for optimal viewing

If you’ve got a complete guest list, make sure your lounge room furniture is arranged in such a way that ensures everyone has a comfy seat and a decent view of the TV.

Haven’t got enough furniture? Consider any fold-away chairs you might have stored away for beach visits or camping trips. Don’t overlook the comfort of an inflatable mattress, big cushions, or rugs either. Some guests will willingly choose the floor if it means they can stretch out comfortably.

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Check your tech

Make sure you’ve got all the tech set up before the big game. Not all footy matches are hosted on free-to-air TV so you might need a Kayo or Fox Footy account to access the game.

Check that your Wi-Fi is in top order and that your Chromecast or Apple TV is working (if you need to cast to TV).

Some streaming services also enable splitview screening so that you can watch multiple games or the one game from multiple angles, bringing a new level of enjoyment to the experience.

If it turns out that your crew can’t come to your home, consider hosting a virtual watch party by getting your friends and family online (try using FaceTime or Zoom) and watching the game together from the comfort of your own homes.


Plan some footy food ideas

What’s a footy night without some good tucker? The good news is that you’re already fully equipped to cook up a feast at home over gas.

It’s always a good idea to do the bulk of the prep before the game so you’re not constantly on the go during the action. Defrost meat, chop up all ingredients, and prepare toppings so everything is good to go.

Serve up footy snacks like Doritos, crudités, and dips before the first siren blasts. The first quarter is the perfect time to heat up the oven and crisp up meat pies and chips, just in time for the second quarter.

Or if you have an outdoor BBQ, get it started and heated up (all too easy if you’re connected to the mains ) ready to pop on the classic footy cook-up—sausages and steaks—at half time.

Too cold outside even by the warmth of a barbecue? Skip the grill and save time by cooking the BBQ meats on a cast-iron pan on a medium-high gas stovetop. Or try some quality comfort food to satisfy the appetite while all eyes are on the game.

Don’t want to take your eyes off the ball? You’ve got the culinary world at your fingertips with the tap of a few buttons. Search for shareable plates—pizza is always a solid bet—on Uber Eats or Deliveroo. You can’t get that at the MCG.

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Cater for comfort

Employ a few easy ways to make your home a cosy haven so your at-home viewing is more comfortable.

To start, raise your central heating to a comfortable level for all. Or if you have a gas log fireplace, turn it on for a cosy ambiance. As an added advantage, a slightly higher temperature means guests can don their stripes without feeling chill.

Thinking of natural gas at your house? Learn more about the process here.