Sports have always brought us together. And while you can’t beat the feeling of cheering your favorite players on to victory in a stadium, some of the best times we have watching sports happen in our own home with our friends and family. Throwing the ultimate sports party isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard on your home. Here are some ways you can prepare your personal home field for game day in any season.

1. Prep Your Playing Field

Throwing a party can feel like a sport in its own right. Follow the same principles and get prepared by making your space game-day ready. Since the focus will be on the big game, make sure you have ample seating options near your entertainment center. If you’re low on seating, offer your guests a comfy spot by putting pillows and blankets on the floors.

Create boundaries and decide ahead of time which spaces will be fair game for guests and where any no-go areas are. Mark out-of-bounds spaces with signs or lock the doors. You can also use restricted areas to store any personal belongings you want to protect from your festivities. Just make sure to designate a nearby bathroom for guests. Stock this room with extra toilet paper, soap, and hand towels in anticipation of extra usage.

2. When It Comes to Food and Beverages, Cover Your Bases

closeup of snacks on a table surrounding a football

Whether you’re a millionaire clutch-hitter or just a lifelong fan, it’s important to stay hydrated during a game. Keep beverages in strategic locations to keep your guests from having to move for refills. While you should probably keep grown-up and kids’ beverages in separate coolers, all of the coolers should have water.

If your group is big enough, consider buying a keg or a pony keg to cut down on waste and save money. If you’re using disposable cups, keep permanent markers next to your cup supply so each one can be personalized to cut down on mix-ups and trash.

No party is complete without a good spread. Decide on your menu and prepare food ahead of time so you can spend your party focusing on friends and guests. Give your guests an idea of the options in advance so you can make arrangements for dietary restrictions. Keep the bigger items like burgers and sides in a singular buffet-style location, but try to keep finger food, like chips and dip, in accessible locations, such as on a coffee table.

3. Have Back-ups Ready for Action

group of friends sitting at a wooden table playing cards during a party

Even though the game is the main attraction, it always helps to have other options available for your guests. Whether your game is delayed or rained out or your cable fails, you can protect yourself from an awkward moment by making sure you have alternate entertainment at the ready.

Tailgating games, like cornhole, are classic game day add-ons that will help keep the party going. In the end, parties are social, so you should make an effort to create the best environment for interacting with friends and family no matter what happens on the field.

4. Protect Yourself From a Party Foul

Sports fans are known to get rowdy, but your furniture doesn’t have to suffer for it. Try to remove any especially important pieces of decor before guests arrive. Disposable dishware and tablecloths are also party classics that help protect your valuables.

Try covering your couches and chairs with fabric covers to prevent staining. If you want to show off your decor and keep it protected, consider pretreating furniture with a fabric protection spray to provide an extra line of defense from messes. If there happen to be any spills or stains, don’t sweat it—upholstery cleaning professionals are experienced in removing the toughest of stains.

No matter what sport or season, your home can be the ultimate game destination. Whether you’re throwing a small get-together or the blowout of the year, advance planning and party prep is the name of the game.